Paul George on his Pacers exit: Things could have been done a lot better
Paul George found a new home with the Oklahoma City Thunder this season, but holds some regrets about his exit from the Indiana Pacers.
George left the Pacers to join reigning MVP Russell Westbrook in Oklahoma City, with Carmelo Anthony following from the New York Knicks.
Ahead of his first match against his former team on Wednesday, the four-time NBA All-Star admitted leaving Indiana was awkward and he would handle things differently if he could go back.
"Obviously, I'm human. Things could have been done a lot better," George told The Indianapolis Star. "The process, that whole ordeal could have been done a lot better. I'll share some of that responsibility.
"But at the end of the day, I did what was best for myself, what was best for my family. I had to move on. It was the right decision for myself. I'm happy. I'm happy with what the results were."
The timing of George's trade request took away some of the leverage the Pacers had, forcing the franchise to rebuild around youth.
"I wanted to see what talent was going to be brought in," George said. "I wanted some assurances of what the team was going to look like.
"But then it got to the point where it was on my shoulders, with the guys that were being brought in. I didn't want that burden, not knowing the certainty of how long I was going to be there. I didn't want to put anyone in a position where, 'Well, Paul steered them one way, and then he left.'
"So, I said, 'I'll be up front, I'll put everything on the table, tell them at the end of my contract, I plan to not re-sign.'"