Los Angeles Lakers fans are still salty over Paul George spurning L.A. to remain with the Oklahoma City Thunder last summer.
The five-time All-Star, who’s in the midst of a career season with the Thunder, was greeted less-than warmly when OKC visited the Lakers on Wednesday night.
Lakers fans with a "warm" welcome for PG. (🔊⬆️) pic.twitter.com/5BYnTm1yiF
— NBA on ESPN (@ESPNNBA) January 3, 2019
Boos kept coming
We’re not sure how much of those boos are about George spurning their team and how much of it was simply Los Angeles pride swelling up at a native son choosing Oklahoma City over the Southern California metropolis.
Either way, it wasn’t very nice, and fans continued to pepper him with boos throughout the game.
George puts Stephenson on skates
George later silenced the Lakers crowd, completely owning his former Indiana Pacers teammate and first-year Laker Lance Stephenson. George stole the ball from Stephenson on the baseline and put on a dribbling exhibition on the other end of the court, confounding Stephenson before scoring an and-one jumper in his face.
The play gave the Thunder the lead and inspired Russell Westbrook to mock Stephenson’s signature air-guitar celebration, which has come back to bite him more than once this season.
It was a much happier moment for Westbrook, who did his best Rudy Gobert impersonation, venting his frustration on a cup earlier in the game. He didn’t get ejected like Gobert, but did get the Jazz center’s attention.
George gets last laugh
George was not bothered by the boos, which greeted him almost every time he touched the ball. He led the Thunder in a 107-100 win, tallying 37 points, four rebounds and four steals as the Lakers played without an injured LeBron James.
“I’m not the only SoCal kid from this area that didn’t play here,” George told ESPN after the game. “But I took it with respect. … It is what it is. I came out here and played my heart out.”
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