Clippers' Paul George gets ripped by ex-teammate over weak mentality

Los Angeles Clippers v Phoenix Suns
Los Angeles Clippers v Phoenix Suns / Christian Petersen/GettyImages

The LA Clippers off-season should be renamed the saga of Paul George. 

The nine-time All-Star has a $48.7M player option, which he will likely decline to test free agency. At 34, there's a serious chance this upcoming contract is his last. It makes sense that George is pursuing a max deal, but all signs indicate the Clippers are unwilling to satisfy those desires. 

Plenty of franchises (LA included) could use a player like George on the roster. Although his athleticism has dramatically diminished since breaking into the league with the Indiana Pacers, he's still a professional scorer with guard-like handles who can play relentless defense. He's still a fringe All-NBA candidate and appears to have some gas left in the tank.

The Philadelphia 76ers are the presumed favorite to land George's services if he leaves Tinseltown. For all the talent he possesses, some are skeptical of his ability when the lights are brightest, especially if paired with Joel Embiid. In a recent episode of his Point Forward podcast, former NBA journeyman Evan Turner questioned George's toughness while acknowledging his tremendous ability on the floor. 

"PG has a history of not showing up, which is an understatement ," Turner said. "I've never met a human who will let a media rumor drive his energy or personality like that. You know how soft Philly would be if he and Embiid go together? It's probably be the most skilled duo ever since Kobe and Shaq. Embiid would be hurt and PG would be Paul though."

The LA Clippers' media circus continues

The influx of former role players starting a podcast has to be one of the worst things that has happened to modern basketball discourse. Like two guys in their college dorm room, these former athletes also want to drive consumers to subscribe to their show and have their clips spread across social media—just ask Patrick Beverly. 

Turner and George played 39 games together for the Pacers in 2013–14. The latter was 24 at the time, in the midst of his breakout season. Is it fair to judge that guy compared to the seasoned veteran at the tail end of his career? It sure doesn't seem fair. 

I subscribe to the notion that George and Embiid would be a gifted tandem that fails to get over the hump due to injuries, much like his current situation in LA. Would they be the most skilled duo since Shaq and Kobe? No, not even close. LeBron and Dwayne Wade, Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook, and Steph Curry and Kevin Durant are just the tip of the iceberg when discussing the best recent pairs.

George has had playoff struggles but is not a complete bum when the games matter most. Kawhi Leonard's recent playoff injury woes thrust him into the first option role, further exposing his inconsistencies. At this stage, he projects as a weak second or strong third-best player on a title team, which most organizations would love to have. 

Turner's word vomit was impressive and proved that even those who reach the highest level don't always know what they're talking about.