2018 NBA All-Star Game: Paul George ‘Really Enjoyed’ Playing In L.A.

2018 NBA All-Star Game: Paul George ‘Really Enjoyed’ Playing In L.A.

Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

Whenever the Oklahoma City Thunder have played in Los Angeles this season, whether facing the Clippers or Lakers, Paul George has been warmly greeted by fans. Of course, the cheers have been at higher fever pitch for Lakers home games at Staples Center.

With the 2018 NBA All-Star Game taking place in L.A., it allowed for the Southern California native to spend the weekend in his hometown. “Really enjoyed it. Really enjoyed being in front of family and friends,” he said.

“I’m from a small town outside of L.A. Getting to play on the biggest stage in L.A. is a moment that I’ll always cherish and just be grateful for it. The fans, the celebrities — it was really a special night.”

George was applauded at NBA All-Star practice, and when introduced for the 3-point Contest and All-Star Game. The only sign of trouble came in the form of a smattering of boos as he struggled to find the basket in Saturday’s shooting competition.

Normally, an All-Star drawing a favorable reaction from fans would be chalked up to simply being one of the league’s more popular players. But George’s situation is of course different because free agent rumors continue to link him to potentially signing with the Lakers this summer.

Questions about his forthcoming free agency were quite as pointed as George’s first time playing against the Lakers at Staples Center this season, though there were some inquiries. The 27-year-old said he hasn’t made a decision but did have a sense for what feels “best.”

In separate interviews earlier this season, George has both voiced his happiness in playing for the Thunder and placed an emphasis on taking his family into account when mulling over the future.

George has never made secret of how much he enjoys playing in Los Angeles, but whether that may be enough to sway him into joining the Lakers remains unclear.tw