Following a report from Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical that George is planning on becoming a free agent after the 2017-18 season, with an inclination to join the Los Angeles Lakers—The Shop in Indianapolis decided to slash the price of a George shirt and snapback from $25 to, well, nothing.
"We knew that we probably weren't going to sell those T-shirts anymore now that he's leaving the team," said Hillary Brown, the manager of The Shop. "We just wanted to give it away. It's something that we've done in the past as well. If we have a T-shirt that we know isn't going to sell, we just give it away."
Some customers didn't believe the offer from the store.
"Like these would really be free," one consumer commented on the post. But the giveaway was real, both online and in the store. On the website, customers would only need to pay the $5 shipping fee. At the store, they could grab a hat hanging on a hook outside the front door, or a shirt folded up on the counter, without a dime dropped.
"In store, they were completely, 100 percent free," Brown said. "We didn't have that many left to begin with. Once we put them out for free, they went very fast, before the afternoon was over."
The rumors of George's desire to play in Los Angeles have been swirling throughout the year, and according to ESPN.com's Dave McMenamin, the Pacers have reached out to the Cleveland Cavaliers to gauge interest in a trade. George, a four-time All-Star, averaged 23.7 points, 6.6 rebounds, 3.3 assists and 1.6 steals this season.
Brown says that if another big athlete were to leave Indianapolis again, the store would consider making a similar decision. The Shop currently has an Andrew Luck shirt, so for those hoping to get any consolation should the Colts franchise quarterback leave town, you might be able to swing yourself a free hat or shirt.
"We do have some specific T-shirts and it depends on who it is and what the T-shirt is and how many we have left. We'll take it situation by situation, I believe," Brown said. "The decision to make the shirts free was made by the owner. He knew where this Paul George situation was going, and he just thought this was the thing to do."