Oklahoma City Forward and former Pacers star, Paul George, will be making his first return to Indianapolis since he was traded to the Oklahoma City Thunder during the offseason. Despite the fact that he was traded, George is not expecting a warm welcome from his former hometown fans due to his acrimonious split with the team.
Halfway through last season, George informed the team that he didn’t plan to remain with them for the rest of his career. Disappointed, the team began to shop him around to other teams in a possible trade scenario. George publicly asking to be traded diminished his value on the trade market because opposing franchises knew that the Pacers had to get rid of him, leading to a deal with Oklahoma City that many experts thought was well below market value for the Pacers.
George spent seven seasons in Indiana, leading the team to two Eastern Conference Finals. He averaged 18.2 points a game along with just over six rebounds and three assists per game during his time as a Pacer. He is certainly the most successful player to wear that uniform since Reggie Miller. George was one of the most popular players in the history of the franchise.
Despite his popularity and success with the team, George and his Thunder teammates do not expect a warm welcome when they take the court in Indianapolis on Wednesday. The Pacers fanbase is loyal to their team and the fans will be sure to let number 13 know that he is no longer welcome. It will interesting to see how both teams perform in this homecoming for the four-time All-Star.