- A frustrating season ended with a first-round sweep for Paul George. Will the Pacers star still be in Indiana next season? We got our hands on his exit interview transcript with Larry Bird.
On Sunday, the Pacers’ season came to an end… and, possibly, so too did Paul George’s time in Indiana. With George one year away from free agency and the Pacers stumbling through the season, rumors swirled all year about the southern California native wanting play for the Lakers. It didn't help that George made a habit out of voicing his frustrations, either. In his post-game press conference after being swept by the Cavaliers in Game 4, George was mum on his future, telling the media “next question” when asked about his off-season plans.
So what does Paul George’s future hold? Lucky for you, we've gotten our hands on the transcript from his exit interview with Pacers president of basketball operations Larry Bird. Here’s how it went down.
LARRY BIRD: Paul, I want to thank you for coming in here today to talk with me about your season and, hopefully, your future with the Pacers.
PAUL GEORGE: [takes out phone] Sure.
BIRD: Now, I know the season obviously didn’t end the way you or anyone else in this organization wanted it to.
GEORGE: [unfollows and blocks Lance Stephenson on Instagram] Nope.
BIRD: This season was not one that you or I will look upon fondly from a results standpoint. Remind me to lose the number for Al Jefferson’s agent.
GEORGE: [deletes Pacers group text] Right.
BIRD: And I know that there have been plenty of rumors about trades...
GEORGE: [starts following every Lakers player on Twitter] Yep.
BIRD: But I want you to be a part of the future here in Indiana.
GEORGE: [Googles “Where in Los Angeles do the Kardashians live”] No doubt.
BIRD: I think we’ve built and will continue to build an exciting and championship-worthy roster here in Indiana, and one that we’d love you to be the centerpiece of.
GEORGE: [looks up Beverly Hills mansions on Zillow] Cool. Hey, which do you prefer, marble or travertine?
BIRD: Huh? Oh, I’m honestly more of a hardwood floor type of guy, it’s easier to clean spilled beer off of. Anyway, I know that with a core comprised of you and Myles Turner and with some other roster moves, the Pacers can continue to be a contender in this conference for years to come.
GEORGE: [texts Chris Paul “Who’s your barber in LA?”] Mhmm.
BIRD: Now, I know what you’re thinking: How can this team go from good to great?
GEORGE: [texts Woj “When am I getting traded?”] Yeah.
BIRD: Suffice to say, I have a plan that I think will make us a realistic title contender. I know last summer’s strategy of “Assemble a 2009 All-Star team” didn’t really work, and Jeff Teague hasn’t been returning my calls for some reason, but there’s a path here.
GEORGE: [texts agent to put together “Thank you for everything, Indy” letter in the Indianapolis Star] Cool.
BIRD: But I want you to have a big say in how we get better. If you think we’re going in the wrong direction, then I want to know so we can make changes. Hell, I’ve already thought of 14 different trades I could make in the last six minutes, 12 of which involve sending Monta Ellis very far away.
GEORGE: [puts in production order for purple and gold PG1s] Word.
BIRD: I just want to be clear how much I appreciate having you here and how much we all want you to stay here and help us build something.
GEORGE: [likes every Instagram post of him wearing a Photoshopped Lakers jersey] Thank you.
BIRD: Now, if you’re unhappy with us, then I want to have a productive conversation about what we can do to improve things, though I’ll be damned if it involves talking to Magic and making a trade with him. No offense, but there’s no way I get through that call without throwing the phone through a window.
GEORGE: [Googles “best moving company Indianapolis”] None taken.
BIRD: For now, I think I want to focus on what you think went wrong this season and how we can do better.
GEORGE: [texts agent “Find me a real estate agent ASAP”] Okay. Hey, are you supposed to tip movers?
BIRD: Huh? Uh, yeah, I always have. Though sometimes I just call Reggie Miller and tell him to do it for me, he never says no.
BIRD: Well, anyway, I’m very interested to get your thoughts on the season.
GEORGE: Oh, uh … yeah, we weren’t good. Hey, listen, I have to run, I have a thing. Can we reschedule?
BIRD: Oh, well, I suppose…
GEORGE: Great, thanks. By the way, do you have Magic’s number?