Exactly a year and one week removed from losing All-NBA talent Kevin Durant to the Warriors, Thunder fans filed in to the airport in droves in Oklahoma City to welcome their new All-Star Paul George as he arrived in town on Tuesday.
The Thunder traded away Victor Oladipo and Domantis Sabonis to land George, who enters the 2017-18 season on the final year of his contract. And while reports have surfaced that the four-time All-Star could land in Los Angeles when he hits the free agent market in 2018, George said in an article from Sports Illustrated released on Tuesday that it's far from a done deal.
"I grew up a Lakers and a Clippers fan," George said. "I idolized Kobe. There will always be a tie here, a connection here. People saying I want to come here, who doesn't want to play for their hometown? 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. But it's definitely been overstated. For me, 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. I've yet to do that. I'm searching for it. 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."
George will team up with reigning MVP winner Russell Westbrook and a talented nucleus in Steven Adams, Enes Kanter and Andre Roberson in Oklahoma City to try and make good on a lofty goal, like competing for the conference finals. One thing is for certain: OKC fans are fired up to welcome their new All-Star -- even if it ends up being just a one-year rental.