Whenever a superstar player leaves his team to ply his wares elsewhere, whether that be via trade or voluntary departure in free agency, there’s often a great deal of lingering animosity on the part of the organization and its fan base, depending of course on the circumstances under which they left.
For Paul George, even though the Pacers opted to trade him last summer, he didn’t exactly leave on amicable terms. He’d grown disgruntled with the direction of the franchise and made it clear on multiple occasions that he’d prefer to play for his hometown Lakers, or at the least somewhere that wasn’t Indiana.
While it wasn’t the best breakup, George did at least provide them a heads up he’d be leaving, allowing the franchise to trade him and recoup some assets for him. So, before his initial return to Indiana on Wednesday night, there was some debate about what type of reception he’d receive. That was quickly answered when he was introduced in the starting lineup (and then every time he touched the ball thereafter).