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Paul George speaks on "disrespectful" contract offer by Clippers, decision to sign with Sixers

Sixers' Paul George signing has fans thinking championship in 2024-25
Sixers' Paul George signing has fans thinking championship in 2024-25 01:09

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The Philadelphia 76ers brought out the big guns in recruiting Paul George.

Managing partner Josh Harris and co-managing partner David Blitzer, team president Daryl Morey and general manager Elton Brand and Sixers legend Julius Erving, among others, met with George last Sunday at his home in Los Angeles.

"Bro, I had Dr. J in my crib," George said Monday on his podcast "Podcast P with Paul George." "That's crazy."

The Sixers played a video featuring Philadelphia Eagles running back Saquon Barkley, comedians Lil Dicky and Kevin Hart and Millville, New Jersey's Mike Trout.

It all might not have happened if it wasn't for the Los Angeles Clippers' "disrespectful" initial offer.

"I never wanted to leave L.A. Initially, I was not trying to leave L.A. L.A. is home. This is where I wanted to finish," George said. "I wanted to work as hard as possible to win one in L.A. That was the goal, to be here and be committed to L.A. As it played out, though, the first initial deal was, I thought, kind of disrespectful.

"Again, in all of this, no hard feelings, no love lost. It's a business. The first initial was like two years, $60 [million]. I was like, 'Two years, $60? That's crazy,'" he added. "I'm like, 'No, I'm not signing that.'"

Philadelphia officially signed the nine-time NBA All-Star to a four-year, $212 million max contract Saturday. George will wear No. 8 with the Sixers to honor Kobe Bryant, saying it's his way of honoring his idol.

On Monday's podcast, George detailed his negotiations with the Clippers and his initial desire to stay in L.A.

"It wasn't initially about the money because I was going to take less to stay with Kawhi [Leonard]. Less money, less years," George said. "I was down to do both until [being disrespected]."

George claimed the Clippers eventually moved their contract offer up to around three years, $150 million, matching the extension Leonard signed earlier this year. L.A. refused to offer George a no-trade clause and then refused to go to a fourth year, he said. He confirmed his interest in opting in and being traded to the Golden State Warriors as an opportunity to stay close to home.

"That was a real thing that was close to being done," the 34-year-old said.

Ultimately, George opted out and then inked into a max deal with the Sixers.

"The majority of the Philly front office was there at the house and you know, it was a great meeting and talk about organization," George said. "Not to say the Clippers didn't or don't, but just an organization that just was like, 'Man, you're our guy.'"

The Sixers sold George on playing with former NBA MVP Joel Embiid and upcoming star point guard Tyrese Maxey, who signed a max tension with the team Sunday.

"They sold the city, they sold the team, the organization, the fit," George said, "and it was just an opportunity I couldn't pass up."

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