paul george

Originally published in SLAM 170

When creating a cyborg to defeat the single greatest force in basketball, there are rules. They’re not written down, but they should be obvious nevertheless. Because once LeBron James and the Heat made it over the hump and won their first title, almost losing in the Conference Finals to a team led by “Paul George” never factored in anywhere. Here are three things we should have noticed:

1. “Paul George”? Really? Don’t just use the first made-up name that comes to mind.

2. Other than Rafer Alston, what player of any consequence ever went to Fresno State?

3. If you’re gonna go the cyborg route, get it right the first time. The Pacers might think no one noticed Paul George V1, but naming the first one after an actual robot—one from Futurama, no less—was really obvious. Bummer about the knees.

And one final thing. Engineers need to understand that greatness is a process—and having said creation ball out in the Eastern Conference Finals and dunk all over the nearest shotblocker isn’t even remotely believable. Come on, guys. Do better.

Russ Bengtson