Did Indy Just Get Dunked?

Posted: May 19, 2017 by cschrump in Uncategorized

Image result for paul george

Chad Schrump / @Hoosier_Hoops

Back to irrelevance. That’s just what happened yesterday to the Indiana Pacers franchise when the national media failed to name Paul George to an All-NBA team. It’s true. Back to square one. Oh, he tallied a lot of votes, but not nearly enough and the lure of the “super-max” contract that only the Pacers could offer him is now out of the barn door almost certainly allowing Magic Johnson and the L.A. Lakers to swoop in next year and sign the Pacers’ best player. The national media just wrapped PG up, including the bow and gifted him to Southern California.  Sorry Indianapolis.

The National Basketball Association is a crazy, almost unfair league when the media has the power to influence the next five seasons in Indianapolis. Who’s to say there wasn’t some shady voting in an effort to undermine the roster? Why wouldn’t big media want George out of small town Indianapolis and into the country’s 2nd largest market and perhaps most iconic NBA franchise not named the Celtics? I need to find out if those media eligible to vote for the All-NBA teams have their votes made public. Did big market media consistently leave him off their ballot? Don’t even tell me it’s not possible because I know good and damn well it’s possible. Hell, it’s probable!

Jimmy Butler is a very nice player. He’s not Paul George. DeMar DeRozan is a really nice player, as well. He’s not Paul George, either. Both made All-NBA 3rd Team. Not Paul. Paul George is a better basketball player than both of them and I won’t hear it any other way. It doesn’t make sense for out-of-town media to vote PG to the 3rd Team. Why keep a potential national star hidden in a small market when you have a perfect opportunity to allow him to escape? This isn’t sour grapes. This is the truth! These are called facts.

What kind of money are we talking here? By being left off of an “All-NBA” team, the Pacers lost the “luxury” (I doubt Herb Simon called it that) of offering George a “super-max” deal of 5 years and $210M. Other suitors around the league would have “only” been able to offer 4 years, $130M. While $130M is a lot of cheese, that’s one less year and $80M difference. Paul would have stayed. I have no doubt. A guy only leaves that scenario if he’s absolutely miserable. PG has been frustrated with Larry Bird for not getting him star power help but certainly hasn’t been miserable.

One more season. That is all that is guaranteed and even that’s not actually true. If Pacers new President of Basketball Operations, Kevin Pritchard, thinks Paul is out the door, he may trade him for a small ransom. However, there are already rumors circulating that PG has told L.A. to wait one more season and he’ll just sign with them straight up, thereby allowing the Lakers to keep their young assets which gives Paul George a full strength, young, talented Laker lineup to join forces with. A lineup that could include super point guard prodigy, Lonzo Ball, who most likely will be drafted by the Lakers with the 2nd pick in this summer’s draft.

Man, I loved watching this kid grow up here in Indy. Paul challenged the big names from the start and quickly ascended into the “best 10-15 players in the league” category. There were nights when you thought he had the potential to be as good as any player in the NBA not named LeBron James. He brought legitimacy to this franchise. Indianapolis thought it had its next Reggie Miller. This sucks.

When George suffered his gruesome leg injury in late summer 2014, this city suffered with him. He was our guy. We would mend with him. We would wait patiently. And we did. The night when he finally returned, he came back to a rabid, full to the ceiling Fieldhouse. Then, he hit his first shot. Swoon. The future was bright. He was back.

Now, he’s all but gone.

  1. […] this was going to happen a month ago when Paul missed out on not being named 3rd Team All-NBA.  REMEMBER?  That was literally the Pacers only shot at keeping this guy.  I hate being right all the […]


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