Paul George is ready to show the world that he’s back…and better than ever.
While he played a limited role in six games last season, PG-13 insists that he used the time off to become a better player than he was before his injury at the infamous Team USA scrimmage.
A re-energized George spoke to USA Today about his aspirations to become one of the League’s best scorers, defenders and eventually, the MVP.
“Honestly, I feel like I’m better than the Paul George I was (before),” George, who played sparingly and cautiously in the Pacers’ final six games of last season, told USA TODAY Sports. “I do understand that I’m coming back as a fresh new player, with a new team, but I’m not limiting myself. I still have the aspiration of being the MVP, still have the aspiration of being one of the best defenders, one of the best scorers in the league. All of that is still there. But now I just feel like I’m much … wiser. I’m a better ballhandler, a better playmaker. I just feel like everything is just enhanced having a year out from the game.”
Yet amid all the trauma and drama of that night, the part that doesn’t get discussed is that George has been focused on ever since. He had worked his way onto the NBA’s proverbial short list just a short time ago, and he fully intends on earning his spot there again very soon.
“I feel like last year, I got a whole year to improve,” said George, who averaged 21.7 points, 6.8 rebounds, 3.5 assists and 1.9 steals per game in his last full season. “It wasn’t just basketball stuff. It was actually watching the game from afar, watching a lot of film. I think all of that played a big part to where now I’m ready to really have the best season of my whole career this year.”