The Cavaliers host the Pacers on Saturday.
George, who suffered a compound tibia-fibula fracture during a Team USA intrasquad scrimmage in August, underwent surgery and is expected to miss the 2014-15 season, but he has said that he hopes he can play at some point this season.
James posted photos of he and George on Instagram after George suffered the injury. The two stars have met in multiple playoff series in recent years.
“I sent out that Instgram post when Paul George got hurt, saying, you know, I need him back on the court,” James said. “I need it for our competitive games. I’m going to miss that. Paul George is one guy when he’s out on the floor you got to account for because he’s really good.” [...]
“I think our relationship is great,” James said of George. “Ever since he was in high school and throughout college, I’ve always kind of kept a tab on him and then when he came into the league, him just waiting for his opportunity. When he first came in, obviously Danny Grangerwas their franchise player and because of injury allowed him to come in and make a name for himself and he just took it full storm.
"First of all, us competing against each other the last few years throughout the second round and the Eastern Conference finals and things of that nature definitely has helped it. So it’s mutual respect but I’ve always respected just him as a person.”
George, 24, averaged 21.7 points, 6.8 rebounds and 3.5 assists for the Pacers last season, earning All-Defensive team and All-NBA third team honors and his second All-Star appearance. The Pacers went 56-26 and earned the No. 1 seed in the Eastern Conference last season before falling to the James-led Miami Heat in the Conference finals.
The Pacers are 6-9 this season but have won three of their last five games, while the Cavaliers are 7-7 and have won two straight.