Former Indiana Pacers superstar Paul George is a bit of a taboo in the city of Indianapolis. While undeniably one of the best players to ever don the Blue and Gold, his unceremonious exit from the franchise that drafted him meant that the basketball diehards in the Circle City will be in his ear for the rest of his career.
Nevertheless, it seems like PG-13 is taking all of it in stride. Six years removed from his last season with the Pacers and now on his second slub since skipping town, the eight-time All-Star appears to genuinely cherish his time in Indiana despite a seemingly fragmented relationship.
Paul George says “it’s all love” between him and the Indiana Pacers
Speaking at his own podcast, George cast some light on his take regarding Pacers fans and how they continue to boo at him when he visits the Fieldhouse.
"They boo me because at the end of the day it’s love. I still got love there. I hung banners there. I’ll always be grateful for the time that I was there."
While his divorce with the franchise definitely left a bitter taste in the mouth of those who rooted for the team in its peak years in the early 2010s, George’s success with the Pacers cannot be understated. It was under his stardom when the franchise flirted with an NBA Finals appearance twice, leading Indiana against the then-Big 3 Miami Heat.
Those Pacers teams ultimately fell short in their title bid before eventually fading away after meager playoff follow-ups in the next couple of years, but it was certainly PG-13 who put Indiana on the map after years of being shelved from the limelight, taking the torch from franchise legend Danny Granger.
Both parties have yet to find much success since that unflattering break-up, but both have surely moved on. In fact, it was the blockbuster trade that sent George to Oklahoma City that began a sequence of the Pacers landing an eventual star after star, which has now brought them to Tyrese Haliburton.
While the Indiana Pacers faithful cannot be blamed if they remain on the jeering side of things as part of a basketball state, Paul George should still be reckoned as an important bit in the recent history of the franchise. After all, it was he who also gave the franchise the much-needed groundwork to start building from scratch.
And look where it got them now.