Pacers’ Paul George staying put, voices frustration over uncertainty
INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – The Pacers decided to stand pat as the NBA’s trade deadline came and went Thursday afternoon.
The team didn’t add any new pieces for the stretch run nor did they trade away the face of the franchise, Paul George as some suspected they may do in switching to a rebuilding mode. The Celtics and Nuggets reportedly made strong pushes to acquire the four-time NBA All-Star.
“It’s just great,” said George about staying in Indiana. “I wasn’t concerned. At the end of the day, I’m in a good situation.”
George said he heard about the trade rumors involving his name, but knew just as much as everybody else about their validity.
“It was kind of a dark moment of uncertainty,” said George. “That was the frustrating part. You want me to be the guy here, you thought I’d have been in the loop a little more on that.”
The 10th overall pick in the 2010 NBA Draft expressed relief for both him and his teammates about the deadline passing.
“They were concerned just as much,” George said. “We’re in a fight. We’re in the hunt right now. These are my guys. We’re going to work. We had a good two days of practice to get ready for the second half.”
The second half of the season begins Friday night at Bankers Life Fieldhouse as the Pacers host the Grizzlies trying to snap a six-game losing streak. Indiana sits at 29-28 and in the sixth playoff position in the Eastern conference.
“We know we have to have a strong finish going down the stretch,” head coach Nate McMillan said. “That’s been the focus these last two days to make us aware of where we are, what’s ahead of us and what we need to do to finish strong.”