Phoenix Suns point guard Chris Paul is no stranger to ruffling feathers. His lingering issues with Houston Rockets star James Harden are a matter of public record at this point. At 35 years old, the tiffs are all just part of the game for him.
This past week, during a game between the Suns and Los Angeles Clippers, a little bit of a situation broke out between Devin Booker and Paul George. Teammates inevitably got involved, leading to some heated postgame comments being made.
On Tuesday, Paul was asked to address what precisely happened during that particular sequence with George.
“It is what it is, man,” he replied. “We just keep playing and move on.”
As expected, Paul views altercations and hostilities that occur on the floor as a byproduct of the high-pressure atmosphere that players operate in. Nothing more, nothing less.
George, interestingly enough, had a much more blistering take on what transpired with Booker.
“You got to ask them,” George said of the incident.
“I was talking to the ref, CP jumped in and it escalated from there. Like I said, I’ve never had any words talking, there was never any altercation, there was always peace when I am on the floor, but for whatever reason, there’s a lot of chirping and people just living in the past.”
Paulina Gretzky knows what she’s doing.https://t.co/zfKrfjY8iP
— Game 7 (@game7__) January 3, 2021
It’s not hard to see who took the incident more personally. It was definitely George.
Over the past year, George has developed something of a reputation for being indelicate in his relations with other people. Clearly there is just something about him that seems to rub folks the wrong way.
It’s hard to forget his skirmish with then-teammate Montrezl Harrell in Game 2 of their Western Conference semifinals showdown against the Denver Nuggets. That run-in stemmed from a turnover by George which he refused to take responsibility for, prompting Harrell to reply with something along the lines of, “You’re always right. Nobody can tell you nothing.”
Montrezl Harrell kept it real. https://t.co/iRlazyp9S1
— Game 7 (@game7__) January 5, 2021
There was also the time when, after the Clippers got eliminated by Denver, he tried to give his teammates a motivational speech, only to be met with “eye rolls and bewilderment.”
Plus there was also that whole situation where Kawhi Leonard’s trainer mercilessly clowned George’s basketball IQ – likely speaking at least in some capacity to the way Leonard views his superstar teammate.
All of which is to say that George, much like Paul, seems to find himself the common denominator in a surprising number of beefs. When you have a reputation like that and a new feud of some sort emerges, it’s hard to get the benefit of the doubt that you’re the innocent party in whatever it was that unfolded.