Speaking to reporters before Friday's game against the Houston Rockets, George said he hopes Los Angeles "is the closing of my journey" as a professional basketball player:
Jovan Buha @jovanbuha
Paul George: “Not a lot of people get to say they played back home and honestly, I’m hoping that this is the closing of my journey to be able to finish here in LA. It’s a great chapter, great last part of my book, hopefully. And I’m looking forward to doing big things here.” https://t.co/XFvid72iEg
Born in Palmdale, a city in the northern part of Los Angeles county, George seemed destined to play in his hometown, but conventional wisdom had it happening with the Lakers.
Before George was traded by the Indiana Pacers to the Oklahoma City Thunder in July 2017, Tania Ganguli of the Los Angeles Times reported he was telling friends he planned to join the Lakers as a free agent.
George ultimately re-signed with the Thunder in July 2018 and had his best year last season. The 29-year-old finished third in MVP voting after averaging 28.0 points, 8.2 rebounds and 4.1 assists in 77 games.
When the Clippers were attempting to sign Kawhi Leonard as a free agent this summer, ESPN's Ramona Shelburne reported the reigning NBA Finals MVP recruited George to request a trade from the Thunder.
Los Angeles was able to orchestrate the deal, giving up Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Danilo Gallinari and five first-round draft picks, in order to bring George home.