NBA

Paul George on playing with Reggie Jackson: “It’s just great to do it with someone you just genuinely love. We’re here having fun”

SAN ANTONIO, TX - MARCH 25: Reggie Jackson #1 of the Los Angeles Clippers celebrates with teammate Paul George #13 after defeating the San Antonio Spurs at AT&T Center on March 25, 2021 in San Antonio, Texas. Los Angeles Clippers defeated the San Antonio Spurs 98-85. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that , by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Ronald Cortes/Getty Images)

Following the Clippers Game 3 win over the Phoenix Suns last night, Paul George expressed how happy he is that Reggie Jackson is a teammate of his.

“We dreamed of this. Many late nights, when I was a Pacer, and he was a Piston. We envisioned this – playing for the same team. We didn’t know what team it was going to be, but we wanted to play together. … It’s just great to do it with someone you just genuinely love. We’re here having fun.”

Paul George on getting the opportunity to play with Reggie Jackson

Paul George and Reggie Jackson were introduced through their mutual agent in 2011. They grew close very quickly and have had aspirations of playing together ever since. George spent the first seven years of his career as a member of the Indians Pacers. In those seven seasons, George was an NBA All-Star four times. Following a lack of playoff success and an inability to attract big-name free agents in Indiana, George requested a trade from the team that drafted him.

The star shooting guard ended up being dealt to the OKC Thunder to be paired up with Russell Westbrook. George spent only two seasons in Oklahoma City after back-to-back early playoff exits. The team failed to make it out of the first round in either year.

Before joining the Clippers

George had tremendous individual success during his tenure in Oklahoma City, though. George was a runner-up for the league’s Most Valuable Player award in the 2018-19 season, ultimately losing to Giannis Antekokounmpo. After Kawhi Leonard decided not to run it back with the reigning champs in Toronto and play for his hometown team in LA, Paul George jumped all over the opportunity.

The Clippers sent Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Danilo Gallinari, and a whopping five 1st round picks to OKC to acquire the disgruntled star. On the other hand, Reggie Jackson has spent time with the Thunder, the Pistons, and now the Clippers over the course of his career.

Detroit bought out Jackson’s contract in February of last year. Upon that buy-out, Jackson signed with the Clippers for the rest of the season. After almost a full decade, Jackson and George were finally going to get the opportunity to play on the same team.

Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, they didn’t get to play together very long before the league was shut down. Obviously, they got to play together in the bubble, but it wasn’t the same. Jackson signed a new one-year deal in December of last year to remain with the Clippers.

Now, in the Western Conference Finals and the Staples Center back to 100% capacity, George and Jackson are finally getting the opportunity to play together in front of a sold-out crowd.

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