•   
  •   
  •   

Sport Clippers’ George prepared for anything as he returns to Oklahoma City

18:08  22 december  2019
18:08  22 december  2019 Source:   usatoday.com

Why TIME Chose Greta Thunberg as the 2019 Person of the Year

  Why TIME Chose Greta Thunberg as the 2019 Person of the Year TIME's Editor-in-Chief explains why climate activist Greta Thunberg was chosen as the 2019 Person of the Year. require(["medianetNativeAdOnArticle"], function (medianetNativeAdOnArticle) { medianetNativeAdOnArticle.getMedianetNativeAds(true); }); It began with a story line familiar to every parent of every generation in every corner of the globe: an indignant teenager and a sudden burst of rebellion. It became one of the most unlikely and surely one of the swiftest ascents to global influence in history.

SAN ANTONIO — Sunday night, Paul George will return to a city that once greeted him with cheers, high-fives and hugs.

Nearly five months after the Oklahoma City Thunder accommodated George’s trade request, though, he might hear different sounds when the Los Angeles Clippers play in Oklahoma City.

“I’ve seen it all. I’m prepared,” George said. “I’ll be ready to expect cheers or boos.”

From NFL plays to college sports scores, all the top sports news you need to know every day.

Leonard scores 24 points as Clippers beat Raptors 112-92

  Leonard scores 24 points as Clippers beat Raptors 112-92 TORONTO (AP) — Kawhi Leonard got his ring, and the Los Angeles Clippers got another win. Leonard scored 23 points in his return to Toronto, Lou Williams had 18 and the Clippers won their third straight game Wednesday, beating the slumping Raptors 112-92. Maurice Harkless scored 14 points and Paul George had 13 as the Clippers evened their road record at 6-6. Before the game, Leonard received his championship ring from the 2018-19 season, when he helped Toronto beat Golden State in six games for the franchise’s first NBA title.Clippers guard Patrick Beverley scored 11 points in 19 minutes before leaving in the third quarter because of a concussion.

This experience has become a rite-of-passage for NBA stars that have left a franchise, either through free agency or a trade demand.

In his third road game facing his former team following a 2018 trade to the Toronto Raptors, Kawhi Leonard still heard boos throughout the Clippers’ 134-109 win over the San Antonio Spurs on Saturday It happened during lineup introductions and any time he touched the ball. That marked a much different reception than when the Toronto Raptors greeted Leonard with a tribute video and a standing ovation when he faced them last week for the first time since delivering an NBA title and then leaving as a free agent.

“I don’t know how they’re going to perceive him or receive him with the Clippers. But if there are boos, it only can help our team,” Leonard said. “If he’s hearing boos every time he touches the ball and that crowd is that aggressive, it’s just going to help him in the long run.”

George, Leonard top 40 as Clippers beat T-Wolves 124-117

  George, Leonard top 40 as Clippers beat T-Wolves 124-117 MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Paul George scored 46 points, Kawhi Leonard had 42 and the Los Angeles Clippers held on to beat the Minnesota Timberwolves 124-117 on Friday night for their fourth consecutive victory. It was the highest combined scoring output of the season for the Clippers' new superstar duo. Leonard and George's previous high came Dec. 1 when they combined for 65 points against Washington. They became the first set of teammates in Clippers'It was the highest combined scoring output of the season for the Clippers' new superstar duo. Leonard and George's previous high came Dec. 1 when they combined for 65 points against Washington. They became the first set of teammates in Clippers' history to each score 40 points.

It might help that George has already heard this soundtrack.

It's been over two years since George requested a trade from the Indiana Pacers, but he has faced a hostile crowd there ever since. The noise hardly simmered during George’s third time playing in Indiana during the Clippers’ win on Dec. 9; He heard boos every time he touched the ball. Afterwards, George promised to publish a tell-all memoir to detail what led to his trade demand after playing with the Pacers for seven seasons.

“I don’t know how it’s going to go (in OKC). I don’t think it’s going to be worse than Indiana,” George said. “But whatever it is, I still have the same message and people that I still love and people that I’m close to and people that are close to me in Oklahoma.”

Thunder fans have an ugly history on how they've handled a star player leaving the franchise. When Kevin Durant left the Thunder for the Golden State Warriors as a free agent in the 2016 offseason, they hardly welcomed him back with gratitude for helping the franchise appear in the NBA playoffs for six out of eight seasons, including an appearance in the NBA Finals and four Western Conference finals berths.

Opinion: Doc Rivers' shot at LeBron James stirs more debate over load management, handling of Kawhi Leonard

  Opinion: Doc Rivers' shot at LeBron James stirs more debate over load management, handling of Kawhi Leonard How Lakers and Clippers handle load management with their respective stars is different, and that's OK because their circumstances are not the same.LOS ANGELES — The words will add some spice to a possible rivalry. They likely suggest that Clippers coach Doc Rivers interpreted LeBron James' dismissal of "load management" as a subtle dig on how the Clippers have handled Kawhi Leonard.

Thunder fans booed Durant during lineup introductions and when he had the ball. They also made “cupcake” references with signs and costumes after Russell Westbrook posted an Instagram photo of a cupcake, which led those in the organization to believe he thought Durant’s free-agency departure was soft. Russell recently insisted “it’s not true” that he and Durant were not friends after the departure. He also chastised a reporter, saying, “you don’t even know what you read.” Nonetheless, Russell wore a photographer’s outfit before the game, which was perceived as a mockery of Durant’s hobby.

Kawhi Leonard on Spurs fans: 'The boos is just love'

More: Clippers' Doc Rivers 'open-minded' about NBA's proposal to change schedule

Then again, perhaps Thunder fans are more gracious toward George because Westbrook has at least expressed public support toward his former teammate. Before the Thunder traded George to the Clippers for Shai-Gilgeous Alexander, Danilo Gallinari and five future first-round picks, George said he talked with Westbrook “all out of respect” and “handled it like men.” A week after George united with Leonard with the Clippers, the Thunder dealt Westbrook to the Houston Rockets for Chris Paul, a pair of first-round selections (2024, 2026) and pick swaps (2021, 2025).

Opinion: Clippers, Rockets rivalry turning into a heated, heavyweight bout

  Opinion: Clippers, Rockets rivalry turning into a heated, heavyweight bout The Clippers-Rockets rivalry has been brewing for some time and now has blossomed into NBA's next best thing.And once the Houston Rockets clinched a 122-117 win over the Los Angeles Clippers on Thursday at Staples Center, one thing became abundantly clear: Both teams provided plenty of evidence that suggests that the heated rivalry is in full-tilt and to expect a close and contentious series come playoff time.

“PG is my boy. We still talk and communicate. Nothing changed,” Westbrook said. “We’re on separate teams now. When we get in between those lines, we compete. But I still stay in contact with him and check on his family.”

Nonetheless, George maintained he still has warm feelings for a franchise he admittedly did not initially think to join. When he asked Indiana for a trade, George had hoped the Los Angeles Lakers would acquire him. But they declined to make Brandon Ingram and their No. 2 draft pick available in trade discussions. George also wanted to team with Leonard in San Antonio. But the Spurs did not have enough assets for the Pacers to agree to a deal. George moved on quickly, partly because of how the Thunder treated him.

“What always stuck out to me when I first arrived in Oklahoma was all the fans crowded the airport,” George said. “They are welcoming. That’s something that always stood out to me.”

Those warm feelings continued. George quickly saw a side of Westbrook that did not match his narrative. George found Westbrook to have a warm personality and a collaborative leadership style. George became encouraged that the Thunder also acquired Carmelo Anthony from the New York Knicks for Enes Kanter, Doug McDermott and Chicago’s 2018 second-round pick. George started his foundation there that focuses on helping stroke victims nearly two decades after his mother suffered one.

NBA analysts decide: LeBron James and Anthony Davis or Kawhi Leonard and Paul George?

  NBA analysts decide: LeBron James and Anthony Davis or Kawhi Leonard and Paul George? With the Lakers and Clippers set for a Christmas showdown, USA TODAY Sports spoke with a group of NBA analysts to break down the L.A. story lines.

So even if the Thunder lost in the first round of the playoffs, George had no interest in leaving. So much that he declined the Lakers’ hopes even to have a meeting with him. Instead, George agreed on a four-year, $137 million deal. To celebrate, Westbrook threw a party for George that included teammates, team officials and even rapper Nas.

On his Instagram account, George posted a photo of himself and Westrbook at the party smoking cigars. The caption read, “unfinished business.”

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Paul George (@ygtrece) on Jun 30, 2018 at 9:11pm PDT

George never finished that business, though. The Thunder traded Anthony in July 2018 because of concerns on its hefty luxury tax bill and how Anthony admittedly struggled with accepting a diminished role. The Thunder lost again in the first round to the Portland Trail Blazers in five games. Damian Lillard’s 37-foot gamer winner over George might be the lasting memory of the series. But so should George laboring with pain in both of his shoulders. He eventually had offseason surgery on both of them.

Nearly two months later, George asked for a trade so that he could team up with Leonard for the same team he rooted for growing up in Palmdale, California.

“I’m still tied to and still love the (Oklahoma City) community,” George said, “because they’re a part of my story.”

Will Thunder fans feel just as warm? George will receive the answer to that question based on the signs he reads and the noises he hears. He vows to remain ready for any scenario.

“Whether it’s cheers or boos,” George said, “it’s still a job.”

Follow USA TODAY NBA writer Mark Medina on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Clippers’ Paul George prepared for anything as he returns to Oklahoma City

Related slideshow: Top images from the NBA season (provided by imagn)

a basketball player jumping up to hit the ball: Phoenix Suns guard Devin Booker (left) battles for a loose ball against Houston Rockets guard Russell Westbrook (0) in the second half at Talking Stick Resort Arena.

Grizzlies beat George-less Clippers 140-114 for 7th road win .
The Memphis Grizzlies took advantage of Los Angeles star Paul George's absence to rout the Clippers 140-114 on Saturday. Jaren Jackson Jr. added 24 points, and Ja Morant and Dillon Brooks had 22 points each to help Memphis improve to 7-10 on the road with its highest scoring game of the season.BOX SCORE: GRIZZLIES 140, CLIPPERS 114WATCH: Morant clowns defenderMontrezl Harrell led the Clippers with 28 points. Kawhi Leonard and Lou Williams added 24 points each. The team appeared out of sorts from the start without George. He sat out with left hamstring tightness and Los Angeles clearly missed his defense.

Topical videos:

usr: 0
This is interesting!