HoopsHype Paul George rumors

March 22, 2014 Updates

More recently, Paul George is learning how to be a superstar. His recent subpar play tells you that it can be a struggle, especially if there are off-court issues involved. The Pacers are saying, privately, that George is going through the same maturity issues all young players go through and they’ll work themselves out. New York Daily News

March 20, 2014 Updates

Two words: Tired legs. According to NBA.com's distance tracker, George has run the fourth-longest distance in the league this season -- 172.4 miles, or 6 1-2 marathons. Afterward, the frustration boiled over in the Pacers' locker room. George questioned his team's basketball IQ. Roy Hibbert and David West questioned their teammates' unselfishness. "We've got to be able to play at a higher pace and a higher IQ," George said. "We didn't play team ball at all," West said. CBSSports.com

March 8, 2014 Updates
March 6, 2014 Updates

James' Miami Heat and George's Pacers have played in the playoffs in each of the last two seasons and are in a heated race for the top seed in the Eastern Conference playoffs this year. James has worked out with rivals over the summer in the past, most notably the Oklahoma City Thunder's Kevin Durant. "Pick [my brain] like Hannibal Lector?" James joked. "You know me, I don't mind it at all. I don't mind giving guys [advice], whatever he wants to ask. Guys know I have an open door/phone policy." ESPN.com

February 21, 2014 Updates
February 20, 2014 Updates

"I watch Paul George now," one Eastern Conference scout says, "and the physical tools, coordination and underlying biomechanics are all there, and there in abundance. In terms of talent, there's almost no limit to how good he could be." But what most separates George from the rest of the NBA elite is the anonymous nobody he used to be. Since the advent of the Internet and the glut of scouting databases that emerged to service the billion-dollar NCAA and NBA, every American superstar-to-be has been tagged and identified as such in puberty. Poll talent evaluators around the league and to a person they agree that George qualifies as the only domestically produced wunderkind to emerge from this much obscurity in at least a quarter of a century. ESPN.com

But Shaw, who'd watched the second-year player at work, knew idolatry was far from emulation. "If you want to be the best," he told George, "I've been around the best." For a decade, Shaw said, he'd seen Kobe play -- and stretch, and ice, and lift, and study opponents, and polish his footwork and generally start his day long before anyone else bothered. "I told real stories," Shaw says, "and Paul was like a wide-eyed puppy, soaking it all in." From then on, if George ever threatened to cut corners, Shaw would intone Kobe's name, dangling superstardom in front of his pupil "like a carrot." George, at the time an unreliable fourth option behind Danny Granger, David West and Roy Hibbert, got the message: There's a canyon of difference between being your team's hardest worker and being Kobe Bryant. ESPN.com

George, Shaw says, began doin' work, Kobe-style. He booked office hours with Pacers color analyst Quinn Buckner, a known confidant of Michael Jordan, to learn a killer's regimen: what MJ ate, how he prepared, how he watched film. When he sought out Bird for criticism, the three-time NBA champ hooked him on the exhaustion of full-court one-on-one. "It all shaped how I prepare for games now," George says. "Before, I'd come in and I'd shoot when it was my shooting time. But now, let's say we're playing at 7 p.m. I'll come into the arena at 3:30, get a nice lift in, upper body and lower body. Then I'll go to the practice court and shoot 250 jump shots. Then, after that, I'll get a massage because I'm so worked up to that point. Then it's game time. I learned that you really get into a mindset: I've been ready since 3:30. And I'm going to rip your head off." ESPN.com

Of course, somebodies like Paul aren't falling off trees -- or all teams would have one. Consider that George has rated first overall in Defensive Win Shares for two straight seasons while ranking in the top 10 in steals per game for three. Meanwhile, among those who play at least 30 minutes a game, he ranks second in opponent field goal percentage at the rim, barely behind Hibbert. "I don't know if I've ever seen anyone Paul's size defend like he does," says Bird, a man hardly prone to hyperbole. "It's unbelievable." ESPN.com

February 19, 2014 Updates

"We're going to have a solid, strong roster," he said. "It's way too early to assume who's going to be there. "I've been told that (James) Harden and (Russell) Westbrook want to participate. "Derrick Rose may be somewhat ready to come back at that time." Rose is recovering from a serious knee injury. "But we've got a lot of good, young players - Paul George, Damian Lillard," Colangelo said. "(LaMarcus) Aldridge will be a part of our roster this year. FIBA.com

The East won a wild NBA All-Star game Sunday 163-155 in a game that featured even less defense than usual for an All-Star showcase where record point totals were put up. Sunday’s matchup featured six first-timers, who helped fill the void of perennial All-Stars like Derrick Rose and Kobe Bryant, who have been plagued by injuries this season. Kyrie Irving and Paul George were making their first All-Star starts and helped the East break a three game losing streak. George and Irving are not endorsement stars or household names for non-NBA fans, but prolonged success in the NBA on the national stage can produce endorsement riches unmatched by any other U.S. team sport. The top of the NBA endorsement food chain is led by LeBron James and Kobe Bryant. Both are global superstars who made $42 million and $34 million, respectively, last year from endorsement partners. James has been one of the NBA’s top endorsers since he was drafted by the Cleveland Cavaliers in 2003. His current partners include Nike, McDonald’s, Coca Cola, Samsung Electronics , Upper Deck, Audemars Piguet and Dunkin’ Donuts. Forbes.com

February 16, 2014 Updates
February 12, 2014 Updates

Paul George long envisioned this, being an NBA MVP candidate and All-Star. The Indiana Pacers small forward said he always thought he had it in him. "I did expect it," he said, unwavering in his confidence and ability. "I just didn't expect it to come around this fast." USA Today Sports

February 11, 2014 Updates
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February 7, 2014 Updates

“I just thought it was a move that should’ve been done. Get some superstar power back into the dunk contest,” George said. “I think I owed it to my fans. Give them another run, another show and another opportunity to have fun at All-Star weekend.” Indianapolis Star

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