There were two factors pushing the Pacers to contemplate a George trade: his impending 2018 free-agency, which already has teams around the league lining up the cap space to make a charge at him, and his desire to win a championship as he hits the back end of his prime years (George turns 27 in May).
Limited Womens Jamie Langenbrunner Jersey The Pacers at least wanted to see how the stretch run of this year developed, to see what kind of progress could be made to returning the team to Eastern Conference prominence. Remember, it was only three years ago that the Pacers were a self-described smashmouth team and the No. 1 seed in the East, losing in the conference finals to the Heat.
That team is long gone, rebuilt in an effort keep up with the offense-heavy modern NBA, where perimeter finesse wins out over the smashing of mouths. Only George remains—except now he needs to be not just the featured player on both ends, but the leader in the locker room and on the court. On Wednesday, George sounded wistful for those simpler days in Indiana.
It’s been different, George said. Like I said, it’s been very different for me. Actually being a leader, being the last Pacer with the group I came in with, the last guy on that roster. It’s been different, I have grown into a different role, becoming a different leader. And you always relive the glory days when they’re gone, and it’s the last little bit that you remember. I’m trying to bring that to this team, and that edge. But it’s taken some time.
So much so that his new team, the Western Conference-leading Warriors, has had to answer for signing him recently.
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We know we’re opening ourselves up to criticism and the hypocrisy stance, Golden State coach Steve Kerr said. It’s all part of professional sports and we’ve got to live with it. (Warriors general manager) Bob (Myers) and I are aware of that.