It’s appropriate that NBA superstar Paul George plays for the Indiana Pacers, one of the original American Basketball Association franchises. After all, George’s game and demeanor are reminiscent of the spirit of the ABA—of freewheeling, streetball-inspired basketball that spawned the careers of Dr. J and George “The Iceman” Gervin.
More to the point, one could easily see George in the title role of a reboot of the 1979 cult classic film, The Fish That Saved Pittsburgh, which starred Dr. J. Like the Doctor, George would be amazing putting his array of silky-smooth moves on display, underscored by a ’70s funk soundtrack.
But PG-13, as he is known, is not just a work of art on the floor. He is also resilient, able to bounce back from the gruesome 2014 leg injury that happened during a scrimmage with USA Basketball. In 2015-2016, the Palmdale, California, native returned to form, averaging 23 points, 7 rebounds and 4 assists while leading Indiana to a playoff appearance. He also was a key contributor for the Olympic team that took home gold in Brazil this summer.
This season (which tips off tonight), expectations are high for the Pacers. Team President Larry Bird worked his magic in the offseason, acquiring All-Star guard Jeff Teague from the Hawks. Indiana also signed consistent big man Al Jefferson to a three-year, $30 million deal. With first-year coach Nate McMillan at the helm, George is excited, saying that he thinks Indiana can score 115 points a game and he can win MVP.
Recently, the NBA 2K17 cover man talked with Made Man about the upcoming season, who should be on the cover of 2K18, the time Bird came out to practice in work clothes and lit up the basket and much more.
“Now that Kevin Garnett is gone, I’m not sure who’s the biggest trash talker in the league. But he was until he retired.”
How many times have you watched the replay of your nasty leg injury?
What did you learn from that whole experience—the injury and the rehab?
I learned patience and developed a greater work ethic. I also learned more about the game by watching, seeing what guys do during games when I’m usually competing against them. It was like going to school, learning new things.
Where should guys go for a good steak in Indy other than St. Elmo?