Paul George: Some Pacers fans have been ‘classless’ in his returns to Indy
Paul George made his second appearance back in Indianapolis Thursday night since he was traded by the Indiana Pacers to the Oklahoma City Thunder in 2017, and the superstar made note of how some of the fans that once cheered him on now behave in a “classless” manner.
George notes that overall he has enjoyed a nice reception from Pacers fans during his two games at Bankers Life Fieldhouse while wearing a Thunder uniform, which was evident by the smattering of cheers that joined some booing during pregame Thursday night.
Paul George intros.— Dave Furst (@DaveFurst) March 14, 2019
A mix… pic.twitter.com/Wk1xOI3rjS
Smattering of boos and cheers for Paul George. As you might as expect. #Pacers— Jim Ayello (@jimayello) March 14, 2019
Reflecting upon his visits to Indy, George, who scored 36 points in Thursday’s 108-106 loss, diplomatically noted there is a “disrespectful” component to the response in the arena.
“I felt I was welcomed more, welcomed better this year,” George told The Athletic’s Sam Amick. “And I’m fine with the boos. (But) there’s just the nasty fans. I mean, there was some explicit language. There was some name-calling. There were some middle fingers looking in the crowd. That’s the disrespectful part of it… I mean, they don’t know me as a person. They don’t know me as a friend, as a father, as a human being. You know me as a basketball player, so all of that is uncalled for.
“It’s just more so them just being classless. In the real grand scheme of things, there’s nothing they can do to me and there’s nothing I can do to them. It is what it is.”
Fans are always going to feel jilted when a player leaves town, regardless of whether or not said player played an integral role in his departure.
That said, the circumstances surrounding Paul’s split with the Pacers not surprisingly left a bad taste in the mouths of many fans, so it’s hardly surprising some boo birds come out whenever he pays a visit.