Thunder star Paul George calls Pacers fans ‘classless’ after mix of boos, cheers upon 2nd return
Paul George made his second return to Bankers Life Fieldhouse, now nearly two years removed from his trade to the Oklahoma City Thunder after spending his first seven seasons with the Indiana Pacers. While he received a mix of cheers and boos from the local crowd, he was still bothered by the nastiness of “classless” fans that denounced his departure.
“I felt I was welcomed more, welcomed better this year,” said George, according to Sam Amick of The Athletic. “And I’m fine with the boos. (But) there’s just the nasty fans. I mean, there was some explicit language. There was some name-calling. There were some middle fingers looking in the crowd. That’s the disrespectful part of it… I mean, they don’t know me as a person. They don’t know me as a friend, as a father, as a human being. You know me as a basketball player, so all of that is uncalled for.
“It’s just more so them just being classless. In the real grand scheme of things, there’s nothing they can do to me and there’s nothing I can do to them. It is what it is.”
Much like in the recent incident with his co-star Russell Westbrook, fans have been gladly audacious to bark at NBA players, knowing they’re not in danger of a short-fused freak of nature on the loose or a 6-foot-9 high-motor player to hunt them down in the open.
While there is likely some resentment from Pacers fans, a 108-106 win over their former star (including new addition Wesley Matthews putting the clamps on George in a crucial play) should prove as enough vindication for the latter’s departure, hopefully letting wounds heal over time.