Expressing his frustrations with how the league and officials view the Pacers, Paul George was fined $15,000 for his comments on Wednesday. Well, it turns out that while George may not agree with the officiating from time to time, his real frustrations are with himself and the Pacers.
Mired in a four-game losing streak, the Pacers are 15-18 and could possibly miss the playoffs for the first time while George has been healthy. The Pacers missed the playoffs in 2015 when George was recovering from breaking his leg during a Team USA scrimmage. Since then, Indiana has totally revamped its roster and made a coaching change. These moves haven't helped the Pacers sustain the success they were having when they went to the Eastern Conference finals in 2013 and 2014, and because of that George is feeling a little discouraged.
"Maybe I'm just living in the past, of how good we used to be," George told reporters via NBA Columnist/Analyst Shane Young. "All the guys I had around. I'm still living in that moment, maybe. And I got to put myself into a different team. Maybe I have to do more. Maybe that's just what it is. Maybe I have to do more now. But whatever it is, I'm going to figure it out."
The Indy Star has more from George:
"I've been getting caught up with officials, getting caught up with on-court stuff," George said after practice Wednesday. "(I've lost) sight of how fun this game is to me. ... Now whatever happens on the court, I couldn't care less, as long as I'm having fun and enjoying what I'm doing."
George is done publicly criticizing officials, he said. No more fines. No more worrying about things he can't control.
"This season hasn't been (fun)," he said. "It's been one of the most frustrating seasons I've been a part of. But I just have to approach it as being myself, to enjoy the process, enjoy the grind. That's only going to show on the court. But more so, it's going to show in the locker room."
While George sounds despondent at least he is well aware that a change needs to come from him. That's a good place to start since he is Indiana's star player, and as the team's leader, his teammates will follow his lead. If he is playing with more energy and zeal for the game, then his teammates will follow suit.
It may not sound like much but simply having a positive mindset can do wonders. George seems to realize this and knows he needs to move on from dwelling in the past. And perhaps, that's all George needs to do as he tries to get the Pacers back to their winning ways.