Could Paul George dethrone LeBron James? Sounds foolish to say, but you never know. Unlike LeBron James having a mentor introduce him to learning how to play basketball at a young age, Paul George didn’t have that type of confidant until he was in high school.
So how did he get to where he is now?
When George was young, he would play one-on-one with his older sister, Teiosha, at the park almost every day. Today, he’s an All-Star player and is one of the NBA’s most prized possession’s.
“I learned a lot about the game from her [Teiosha],” George acknowledged.
Full Name: Paul Cliftonantho George
Birthdate: May 2, 1990
Birth Place: Palmdale, Calif.
Team: Oklahoma City Thunder / NBA
When George was in his early years, he looked up to “The Black Mamba”, also known as, Kobe Bryant. As years flew by, his time came to play organized basketball in high school.
While George attended Knight High School in his hometown, his skill level quickly improved, as he already made the varsity team during his sophomore year. Fast-forward to his senior year, he was now the “idol”, with his teammates looking up to him. Not only did he lead his team to the Golden League Championship — he was named the Golden League Most Valuable Player.
But hear this — with all of his feats and being an all-around player — he was not seen as a major prospect by colleges. Next thing you know, he was headed more than three hours from home at Fresno State.
George took a trip down memory lane during his opening year with the Fresno State Bulldogs. In his first game of the season, he scored 14 points, and his team won the game. Forget that, his next game, it was definitely a beauty to watch. How so? He made a one-handed slam dunk over Mickey McConnell that earned him SportsCenter’s number 1 “Play of the Day”. The following year, he had his career-high 29 points.
His sophomore year — without a doubt — was an unbelievable year. George was named the eighth most entertaining player in college basketball by Sports Illustrated in their list of the “Top 16 Most Entertaining Players in College Basketball”. That year, he recorded his career-high in scoring, 30 points. After that, he rose to NBA stardom.
It’s time for the Big Day. And that was July 1, 2010. He officially wore an Indiana Pacers jersey. He signed a two-year guaranteed deal worth $3.9 million. During his rookie season, against the Washington Wizards, he had his then-career-high 23 points. As his inaugural season winded down, he was named to the 2011 NBA All-Rookie Second Team.
Next season, take a guess what he was selected to compete in? The Slam Dunk Contest and Rising Stars Challenge during the 2012 NBA All-Star Weekend. He also appeared in his first-ever Eastern Conference Semifinals, however, the Pacers were ousted from the Playoffs by the Miami Heat.
In George’s third season, a huge change was made for his position. Instead of playing shooting guard, he was playing the small forward position. Then? Come December, he was named the NBA’s Player of the Week for the first time in his career. But wait… there’s more! He was selected to play in the 2013 NBA All-Star Game in Houston for the first All-Star selection of his career. With the season concluding, the Indiana Pacers decided to extend his contract.
After all of George’s success with the Indiana Pacers, he had to say his farewells. Because he’s now part of the Oklahoma City Thunder organization. In 2017, the year he was traded, he scored his season-high 42 points in a victory against the Los Angeles Clippers on Nov. 10.
Take a look at this — in just his first year — he helped take his team to the Playoffs to face the Utah Jazz. Despite the Thunder losing in the first round, he combined for a total of 148 points in six games against the Jazz.
As the Pacers await till next season, we shall see whether George joins ‘The King’ to become a dangerous duo, or maybe, he will even join the Los Angeles Lakers. Who knows! At the moment, we still are waiting to see who will be in the NBA Finals.
Paul George Contract & Career Stats
Right now, Paul George is considered a free agent. There is no contract information available. Although, there are many options on the table for what team he may land on. The teams include — the Philadelphia 76ers, the Oklahoma City Thunder, the Indiana Pacers, Los Angeles Lakers, or the Cleveland Cavaliers.
Throughout his NBA career, George has averaged 18.6 points per game, 6.2 rebounds per game, and 3.2 assists per game.