Paul George recently had some stuff to say about how the Pacers season ended and why Lance Stephenson left. It was interesting commentary on both a disastrous season and a close teammate, as reported by Marc Spears of Yahoo! Sports.
The most interesting comment, however, was him comparing himself to a few known gunners while saying he needs to become a 25- to 30-point per game — even if it takes 25 shots to do so.
George plans on helping compensate for Stephenson’s loss by being much more aggressive offensively like Kobe Bryant and Tracy McGrady were in their primes.
“Coming into next season I need to be in the 25-30-point mark,” said George, who averaged 21.7 points last season. “I got to get back to that old Kobe, T-Mac, 25-shots-a-night kind of guy.”
In one respect, this is good: The Pacers offense is a joke and it needs some game-to-game consistency. Having a go-to scorer — something the team hasn’t had, honestly, since Jalen Rose — could be helpful.
But in another respect, it’s bad: The best players in the league, namely LeBron and Kevin Durant, are now models of efficiency, with the tag “volume scorer” now being a four-letter word.
My guess is that this is just an off-hand comment. I doubt Paul George, who has never averaged even 17 shots per game, takes 25 shots in a game many times next season, let alone averages that many. For context, he had 25 or more field goal attempts just three times last season and a total of five times in his career during the regular season, per Basketball-Reference.
So we’re talking more about a mentality here than an actual plan to start chucking. Then again, some of the shots he took late in the year made you wonder if he did have any conscience. It stands to reason, though, that hanging out with reluctant gunner Durant all summer should only help him restrain his urge to channel his inner Mamba.
As for discussing Stephenson, Paul George said that he thinks Lance wants to be a star.
George believes Stephenson, who was miffed about not being named an All-Star last season, was attracted to a star role in Charlotte.
“He did that because he wants to come into his own,” George said. “That’s not to say he couldn’t do that in Indiana. But I think the fresh start gives him the ability to lead a team and take what he got from us to Charlotte. He is a player that wants to be an All-Star, wants to be a superstar in this league. So I think he made that move based on that.”
And he dispelled the notion that chemistry problems caused the team’s tail spin last season.
As for the off-court drama, George said: “We had no locker room issues. You are going to clash. You got guys that got into it. But there was nothing that broke our chemistry. We were still [close] as a team.”
Tags: Paul George