Thad Young doesn’t care how comfortable his game PGs are, with his shoes’ namesake and former teammate Paul George playing on the other side tonight, Young would prefer to play in a different pair of shoes. Nothing against PG, but Young doesn’t wear an opponent’s shoe, as Jim Ayello reports.
“Oh yeah,” Young laughed. “He actually asked me about it last year. ‘So you couldn’t wear the PGs?’ I was like, ‘Nah man, you know what’s up (laughs).’ At the end of the day, he knows it’s all respect. It’s nothing against him. That’s just something I’ve never done -- wear guys shoes against them. ... I might go with the PGs, but I might switch it up to an old pair of Kobes. I don’t know. I’ll figure it out (Thursday).”
When PG made his exit strategy known nearly two years ago, he blamed the lack of help (talent) with the Pacers. Naturally, Thad Young and Myles Turner took offense since they were a couple of key ‘helpers’ at the time. Their resolve from the opening of training camp last season combined with Victor Oladipo bursting onto the scene, adding the feathery life to the locker room, helped the only remaining players since PG’s departure take pride in the Pacers not rebuilding, but actually improving.
Early last season, PG made his first return as an enemy in the Fieldhouse with his tail tucked between his legs. The Pacers were doing just fine without him, thank you while the Thunder were still figuring things out. It was mid-December game and the Pacers were 16-11 while the Thunder were two games below .500, both results a surprise to most around the league.
OKC won the game, but PG was just OK, scoring 12 points on 3 of 14 shooting. This time around, PG will arrive at the Fieldhouse with his chest out and no words necessary, instead a legitimate MVP season to this point doing all the talking.
PG has made it back and past the point where all of our highest hopes for his career were dashed. Remember when he was having those post-practice one-on-one battles with Kevin Durant during USA Basketball camp? Everything about his game was on the incline and now he was adding the confidence of going toe-to-toe with one of the elite offensive players of all time. A few days later...yeah.
But the long slog for PG to return to that path and continue until he reached the high altitude of the elite players in the NBA, has been nothing short of remarkable. As we watched Oladipo take some of his first steps back to playing in the NBA the other day, we can only hope his results are comparable with PG, although it would be nice if he is still with the Pacers when he makes it all the way back.
Oh, and in hindsight, Thad shouldn’t have been too upset with PG’s ‘help’ stance since it wasn’t necessarily directed at he or Myles. Check out Mark Montieth’s report which has Thad listing all of the players that are no longer here. PG had a pretty good point.
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