George expressed his excitement to join the Clippers during an introductory press conference Wednesday.

By Alaa Abdeldaiem
July 24, 2019

Paul George believes he was destined to play alongside Kawhi Leonard with the Los Angeles Clippers.

During the team's introductory press conference for the team's newest star duo on Wednesday, George said he was at a "loss for words" to describe what it was like to return to his home this season. George then added that teaming up with Leonard felt like it was meant to be.

"I remember I was in Indy when we drafted Kawhi," George said, per ESPN. The Pacers selected Leonard with the 15th overall pick in the 2011 draft before sending him to San Antonio in a trade. "I was a little confused by it because I was the 2-guard and Kawhi was the same position and I was a bit nervous for the competition that was coming.

"But fast-forward, knowing that the player I am and the player he developed into, I wish we would have kept that pick and we could have [grown] together," George continued. "It seems like this was destiny that we were supposed to play together."

The Clippers acquired George from the Oklahoma City Thunder for a record-setting collection of draft picks in the same moment Leonard announced his decision to join the team. Leonard had been recruiting George to Los Angeles, who requested a trade from the Thunder.

Speaking for the first time since making his free-agency decision, Leonard also spoke about his excitement for the upcoming season, making his reasons for chosing the Clippers over the Lakers and Raptors clear.

"I grew up a Clippers fan," Leonard said. "I loved the Clippers as a kid. With Doc [Rivers] being a championship head coach, that is something I wanted, an experienced coach. And the front office is very transparent with me. They want to win.

"It's an opportunity for us to build our own and make history," he added. "They haven't been to a Finals and haven't won a Finals and that was something exciting for me to make my decision."

The Clippers finished the 2018 season with a record of 48–34 and lost to the Warriors in the first round of the playoffs.

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