In maybe the most boring opening night ever, the Clippers defeated the Lakers 116-109. LeBron and Anthony Davis were reluctant to get involved all night while Paul George and Kawhi Leonard were back to being their regular season selves. Regular Season P is back!
CLIPPERS WIN! pic.twitter.com/556OIpNdoU— LA Clippers (@LAClippers) December 23, 2020
Paul George was really excited about his 33-point performance tonight.
“Coming off two shoulder surgeries ain’t easy,” George said postgame. “I just let myself catch fire and put pressure on myself to score.”
Charles Barkley then asked about the reports of special treatment that divided the locker room this off-season.
“You earn that by putting in extra work,” George said.
Eventually, the TNT crew got into a full-blown argument that players shouldn’t abuse their treatment off the floor.
According to Shaq, players have to earn preferential treatment.
“When you put in the work, players won’t have a problem with special treatment,” O’Neal said. “When you get special treatment and you have’t earned that–now there’s a problem and players will resent that.”
Not only is he right, but he received that same treatment that George and Kawhi currently enjoy. Clearly, last year’s Clippers team didn’t feel the duo earned that treatment.
If Paul George wants to maintain his NBA superstar alter ego, he’s going to need to play like one when people are actually watching: the postseason. Of course some folks have turned off the NBA for good, but plenty of people still watch the playoffs. He can’t hop in a time machine and get last season’s job done now, but since he can’t, perhaps he should say less during regular season postgame interviews now. Knowing Paul George, that’s not going to happen.
Kawhi Leonard added 26 points of his own in his 34 minutes and picked his spots well offensively. This season’s opener was a spitting image of last year, so we won’t read too much into tonight’s results. The Clippers looked great, while the Lakers played like they just won an NBA title 72 days ago. Who would’ve guessed?
NBA basketball is back, which at least it gives us an excuse to discuss Paul George and his completely undeserved nicknames.