Right now, everyone considers it a foregone conclusion Kawhi Leonard is headed to L.A. next summer—but then again, we thought the same thing about Paul George just a year ago. George surprised many when he re-signed with Oklahoma City. But not only did he opt against signing with the Lakers—he didn't even give L.A. a meeting. That much is stunning.
The reason why I didn't (take a meeting) is that coming down to free agency and before it was about to open (on July 1), I felt really good where I was at. I felt I was in a good place with Oklahoma. I wanted to come back to L.A. That story was true. The narrative on that was true.
That's where my heart was. But this year, being in Oklahoma, I felt really good about the situation, I felt really good going forward, and I didn't want to waste nobody's time and take a meeting. And now I'm straddling the fence, putting more stress and more pressure on the situation. I felt good about it. I felt great where we were at, so I decided to do it early, to get it over with, and start to build. I didn't get that chance to last summer, because I got traded late in the summer. So I never got that chance to start fresh, to work to get better with Russ and work to get better with the Thunder. So I wanted to attack that early and get ready for my career.
During a recent appearance on Drama's Short Story Long podcast, George said his decision not to meet with the Lakers left them "pissed" at him.
"L.A. was pissed at me," he said. "I didn't give Magic a shot, which I understand. But at that point, I knew I wanted to give it another shot. I didn't want to prolong it and waste people's time."
Watch the full interview below.