Paul George: FA decision 'easier' thanks to Westbrook
NBA.com Global on Jan 26, 2018 08:26 AM
FILE - OKLAHOMA CITY, OK - NOVEMBER 10: Paul George #13 of the Oklahoma City Thunder looks to pass against the LA Clippers on November 10, 2017 at Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. (Photo by Layne Murdoch/NBAE via Getty Images)
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With speculation constantly swirling about Paul George's future in Oklahoma City, Russell Westbrook may have pulled off his greatest assist yet.
In an interview with ESPN, George -- who was passed over for the 2018 NBA All-Star Game on Monday -- said he was grateful Westbrook came to his defense, and that Westbrook's gesture makes his free agency decision 'easier' to make.
"Russ is the reason why this decision is becoming even more easier to make, is the character Russ [has]," George said on Wednesday. "A stand-up guy, and he has his teammate's back."
Westbrook fumed about George's omission following the Thunder's 109-108 win over the Nets on Tuesday, mentioning the Warriors getting four selections, as well as players "complaining about getting snubbed until they get in."
"We were actually joking before he went up there, and I'm like, 'Nah, Russ, man, just let it go, let it go Russ. It is what it is, I wasn't picked,' and he was like, 'Nah, man, P, that's messed up. I'm gonna tell them something about that,'" George said.
"It was awesome for a teammate to have your back and to stand up," he said. "And to be honest, he should be a starter. He's been the MVP, been the best player at his position. He should've been a starter, but that's another story. But the fact Russ had my back, that's my guy forever, and it's more apparent what this decision needs to be made when it comes down to it."
Westbrook spoke out Tuesday (Wednesday, PHL time), calling George's omission from the All-Star Game 'outrageous'. George was traded to Oklahoma City in the offseason, but will be an unrestricted free agent in the summer. George is averaging 20.9 points, 5.6 rebounds and 3.0 assists to help the Thunder to a 27-20 record.