Paul George thinks it will be “30 years from now” until the Pacers consider retiring his jersey.
The OKC Thunder superstar says he may have not “done enough” to earn the honor just yet.
PG’s second visit to Indiana since leaving in June 2017 was an emotional experience Thursday night—he was happy to see so many familiar faces, but less so with verbal abuse from “classless” fans during a 108-106 loss.
Per The Athletic:
“I felt I was welcomed more, welcomed better this year,” George said as we walked toward the exits. “And I’m fine with the boos. (But) there’s just the nasty fans. I mean, there was some explicit language. There was some name-calling. There were some middle fingers looking in the crowd. That’s the disrespectful part of it. … I mean, they don’t know me as a person. They don’t know me as a friend, as a father, as a human being. You know me as a basketball player, so all of that is uncalled for.
“It’s just more so them just being classless. In the real grand scheme of things, there’s nothing they can do to me and there’s nothing I can do to them. It is what it is.”
They going to hang your jersey here one day?
“Ah, if they do it’ll be 30 years from now.”
“I’m not sure. And quite frankly, I’m not sure if I’ve done enough to have a jersey hung here. But that’s not in my hands.”
Their bar is pretty high. It’s all Hall of Famers (and the late former owner, Mel Simon, who have had jerseys retired; players include George McGinnis, Reggie Miller, Roger Brown and Slick Leonard). Would that mean something?
“Well, I’m stacked up against a lot of greats. Again, what Reggie did here and the 18-plus years of excellence, that’s the last guy to do it, so that’s big shoes that I would’ve filled. … I would love to (have the jersey retired), because I can’t say I would’ve made it to where I’m at if it wasn’t for this opportunity here and the chance I got to be Paul George here. So we’ll see.”