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Paul George Says He Wants to Retire with Los Angeles Clippers

Adam Wells@adamwells1985Featured ColumnistDecember 4, 2020

Los Angeles Clippers' Paul George drives against the Dallas Mavericks during the first quarter of Game 3 of an NBA basketball first-round playoff series, Friday, Aug. 21, 2020, in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. (Mike Ehrmann/Pool Photo via AP)
Mike Ehrmann/Associated Press

Paul George can become a free agent after this season, but the six-time All-Star hopes to play the rest of his career with the Los Angeles Clippers.  

"I want to retire a Clipper," George told reporters on Friday. 

Despite finishing last season as the No. 2 seed in the Western Conference, the 2019-20 Clippers team was reportedly a mess behind the scenes.

Per Jovan Buha of The Athletic, the Clippers reportedly had chemistry issues caused in part because of the preferential treatment given to George and Kawhi Leonard. 

George's reported special treatment, in particular, seemed to rub teammates the wrong way.

"George, while a perennial All-Star and All-NBA candidate, didn't carry the same cachet with his teammates [as Leonard]," Buha wrote. "There was a sentiment among certain teammates of, 'What have you accomplished in the playoffs?' multiple league sources said."

Los Angeles has made significant changes trying to capitalize on its window of contention with George and Leonard. Tyronn Lue is replacing Doc Rivers as head coach. Serge Ibaka, who was teammates with Leonard on the 2018-19 Toronto Raptors, was signed as a free agent to play center. 

George is from the Los Angeles area and has close ties to the city, but the Clippers' results this season could end up determining the future direction of the franchise. He can opt out of his deal and become a free agent next summer. 

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