It was his childhood dream to play for the Los Angeles Lakers and rumors suggest Paul George's wish could come true in time for Season 2018-19 of the NBA. But the All-Star forward is not about to get ahead of himself. True he is gunning for that elusive NBA ring and George is convinced he is in the right place at the moment to realize his goal. The Lakers can wait or they don't have to.
George making his offseason jump from the Indiana Pacers to the Oklahoma City Thunder was all about one thing - getting a better shot at an NBA title and perhaps win his first ring. After playing six seasons with the Pacers, the NBA superstar thought his chances of landing a Finals appearance seem to be slipping away.
"I wasn't sure we'd ever get a team together to compete for a championship," George told Sports Illustrated in an interview, adding "It's all about winning. I want to be in a good system, a good team. I want a shot to win it. I'm not a stats guy. I'm playing this game to win and build a legacy of winning."
And the Thunder could just deliver what the Pacers failed to do. In OKC George can count on Russell Westbrook. Obviously, the 2017 MVP continued to shine even after the departure of Kevin Durant. Westbrook even managed to bring the Thunder close to a 2016 Finals appearance but as CBS Sports pointed out, KD and the Golden State Warriors frustrated the crew.
But with George now on board and coming off his best season to date, according to Bleacher Report, things could only get better for OKC. He is quite optimistic that he's now part of a better system that eluded him in the past years. NBA rings appear to be on the horizon for George and he has indicated willingness to stick around, perhaps longer than planned.
"If we get a killer season in Oklahoma, we make the conference finals or upset the Warriors or do something crazy, I'd be dumb to want to leave that," Sports Illustrated reported George as saying.
But what about all the talks of building a Superteam in LA and the possibility of teaming up with LeBron James?
George has admitted that growing up in Los Angeles he dreamed as a child to be among the Lakers greats and pointed to Kobe Bryant as his early hero. "That's a dream come true, if you're a kid growing up on the outskirts of L.A., to be the man in your city," the player said.
But he also clarified that George wanting to be part of the Lakers was mostly exaggerated, or by his own word "overstated." It might be that playing for LA is bliss but George said winning is all that matters and he is convinced things are looking for him in Oklahoma.
As mentioned, he sees the strong likelihood of doing better with OKC for the 2017-18 campaign. CBS Sports said George and Westbrook can certainly win more than 50 games for the Thunder next season, and that's just for starters. Upsetting the Warriors is the ultimate picture George would want to believe will shape up for him.
Then the Lakers Superteam with Paul George, LeBron James and Lonzo Ball as core members will have to wait, or could just turn out as a mere dream team.