Indiana Pacers star guard Paul George will be a restricted free agent next summer. He’s said all along that he would like to stick with the Pacers long-term. Unless, of course, Kobe Bryant and the Los Angeles Lakers come knocking. George, a California native, admits it would be hard for him to turn down a chance to play at home with his idol. Per ESPN Radio, the Indy Star and the Pacers’ team website: “My heart is still in Indiana … I’m still a Pacer, and hopefully I remain a Pacer. I’m happy where I’m at.’ Comforting words to Pacers’ fans. However, then there was this: ‘Of course it would be tough (to say no to Kobe). You’re talking about playing (at) home.’ [...] George was then pressed as to what makes his situation in Indiana, with a great locker room, so special. ‘Everyone is some comfortable with one another that before our practice or our day starts, everyone in our locker room has a conversation with one another,’ he said. ‘We enjoy one another’s company outside of basketball.’ His decision won’t be an easy one. The Pacers will be able to offer him the largest deal. Though David West is the heart and soul of the team, Paul George is the face and the future. ‘I definitely want to win,’ George said of what he desires. ‘I want to be a champion. I want to get a ring. I think all of that should be in my future as an NBA player. I think that’ll be the case of if I want to leave or stay in Indiana. I think the only thing that will change that is who’s on the roster and who’s with me. Now, I know what I have with me now and that’s more than enough to win a championship. Again, where I’m at — I’m a happy player and I’m in a happy place right now.’ Pacers officials, who one agent recently described to Pacers.com as ‘the best people in the world to ever do business with,’ have talked with George and his camp about their intentions. ‘It’s still early,’ George said, ‘but we’ve talked and I think we’re on the same page. It’s mutual where we’re at. It’s all about loyalty and that’s what I’m strong on is being loyal.’”