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Paul George understands frustration from Pacers’ side

Paul George

Paul George wasn’t apologetic about his willingness to leave the Indiana Pacers, but rather explained his reasoning behind leaving the franchise that drafted him in 2010.

“I get the frustration. I get why people are upset,” George told Sports Illustrated’s Lee Jenkins. “But at the same time, I want the average fan to understand that we only get a small window to play this game and more than anything you want to be able to play for a championship. I wanted to bring that to Indiana. I really did. I love Indiana. That will always be a special place for me and I’m sorry for not holding on. But I wasn’t sure we’d ever get a team together to compete for a championship and that’s where all this came from.”

The 6-foot-9 wing and his camp did everything possible to end up in Los Angeles, but ultimately was traded to the Oklahoma City Thunder, where he will team up with the reigning MVP, Russell Westbrook, until it’s time to make his decision to either stay with this new-look Thunder squad or end up in purple-and-gold as he had planned all along.

George said he “kind of felt a rebuild coming” within the franchise, having moved pieces during the last few seasons, all resulting in failures to become a part of the East’s elite.

“I felt like the window had closed,” he said. “I thought they were going in a different direction and I wanted to go in a different direction. I wanted them to have the opportunity to get something back if they didn’t want me to play that last year.”

“I want to be in a good system, a good team. I want a shot to win it.”

The 27-year-old wing emphasized his desire to win trumps everything, so if the Thunder show the desired results with this revamped roster, he wouldn’t want to leave that situation.