Much was made of Paul George’s move to the Los Angeles Clippers. Early reports indicated that Kawhi Leonard’s move to the Clippers hinged on them adding a player of an All-Star calibre to support Leonard in LA. Subsequent reports indicated that Kawhi Leonard convinced Paul George to move to the LA Clippers during his own Free Agency. In a recent tell-all interview with ESPN, Paul George put to bed any and every rumour surrounding the reason for his move to the LA Clippers.
Paul George grew up on the outskirts of Los Angeles. Midway through his stint with the Indiana Pacers, his mother, Paulette George suffered a severe stroke, leaving her, in Paul George’s words, in an almost ‘vegetative state’. With his parents Paul Sr. and Paulette George making it to every game, the now-Clippers star reveals that he found it difficult to be away from his family. While he was looking to trade to the Lakers in order to be closer to his family, the move didn’t quite pan out, with Oklahoma City Thunder ultimately swooping in for the 6’8” shooting guard. However, with his mother being rendered unable to make it to his NBA games, mid-way through his four-year, reported $137 million deal, Paul George decided to force through a move to the LA Clippers.
When Kawhi Leonard and Paul George joined forces to play for the Clippers this summer, it was seen as a power move that would reshape the NBA for years to come. But there was a lot more to it for @Yg_Trece. Here’s what really brought him back home. https://t.co/BWalLW51aA— Ramona Shelburne (@ramonashelburne) January 16, 2020
After a face-to-face meeting with Thunder president Sam Presti, the Thunder agreed to trade Paul George to the LA Clippers. In turn, the Clippers were contracted to giving up a massive five future first-round picks. Speaking in the tell-all interview with ESPN, Paul George said that as a kid, he always envisioned playing at the Staples Center with his parents being able to watch him on the court. "But I think the best thing is before every game when I'm introduced, 'Paul George from Palmdale, California.' I'm not playing for the Clippers. This is home. I'm playing for the home team”, Paul George concluded.
While NBA fans have been debating who among Kawhi Leonard, the Lakers, or even Canadian star Drake played the bigger part in Paul George's move to Los Angeles, the Clippers star holds no doubts about his move. The partnership of Kawhi Leonard and Paul George was meant to propel the LA Clippers into an all-action team competing for the title. Only time will tell if the All-Star duo can eclipse the Lakers in the coming years.