It seems Joe Ingles is ready to put the past behind him.
During the Jazz’s media availability on Thursday prior to Game 2 of their Conference Semifinal series with the LA Clippers, the Utah forward said he doesn’t think much of his supposed rivalry with Clippers star Paul George.
"The whole narrative of Paul George vs. Joe Ingles is a little bit old in my mind,” Ingles said. “It's Jazz vs. Clippers now. … I personally don't read into the 1-on-1 stuff. That was three years ago. My twins could barely speak then and now they annoy the hell out of me.”
The George/Ingles beef stretches back to the 2017-18 season, when George’s Thunder squared off against the Jazz in the first round of the playoffs. There was copious amounts of shoving, trash-talking and a general air of disdain between the two wings during the series, which ultimately ended with the Jazz winning 4-2. This series was also the genesis of the infamous “Playoff P” nickname with which George gifted (cursed?) himself.
Ingles once again spent time guarding George in Game 1 of the ongoing Clippers-Jazz series, which Utah won 112-109. The two could be seen exchanging words, but it never boiled over into any sort of altercation.
Though George dropped a 20-point, 10-rebound double-double, he struggled mightily from the field, going just 4-17. Some credit should be given to Ingles for pestering George, but he also missed some open shots, as he has been for much of this postseason. Once again, it was his ability to draw contact that made him effective, as he was sent to the free throw line 10 times (making nine of his attempts).
Ingles struggled offensively as well, scoring just eight points and hitting only one of his eight three-point attempts.
It’s a long series, and although Ingles says he’s ready to let bygones be bygones, there’s still plenty of time for old wounds to be reopened. Game 2 tips off on Thursday at 7 p.m.