The Los Angeles Clippers defeated the Phoenix Suns 112-107 on Sunday night. One of the more intriguing takeaways from the outing was the apparent beef between two of the bigger stars involved: Paul George of the Clippers and Devin Booker of the Suns.
With about seven minutes remaining in the fourth quarter and the game tight, George and Booker could be seen exchanging heated words on the court.
“You better watch your mouth,” George could be heard saying.
To which Booker replied by calling him “soft.”
After the game, George was asked about the increased hostility he has seemingly been on the wrong end of from players like Booker over the past couple of years.
“That’s a question you got to ask them,” he said.
“I don’t talk, I play my game. For whatever reason, it’s dudes talking. Like, never heard people talking, and it’s never been directed towards me, but for some reason it’s a lot of mouth. And it’s fine. I got to play up to that. I’ll go through the fire. It’s fine.
“As long as we come out on top and we win and I am helping my team win. That’s all that matters. Save the rest, they can do what they want. I’m locked in and it’s more so about me being at peace and at ease.”
“For whatever reason it’s dudes talking. Never heard people talking, it’s never been directed towards me, but for some reason, it’s a lot of mouth… As long as we come out on top, that’s all that matters.”
Paul George on why the talk about his name has changed in the NBA. pic.twitter.com/U0FILwCpQ6
— Tomer Azarly (@TomerAzarly) January 4, 2021
George having tension with people has become something of a common theme over the past few years.
George had a notable skirmish with then-teammate Montrezl Harrell in Game 2 of their Western Conference semifinals showdown against the Denver Nuggets. It stemmed from a turnover by George that 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.”
Then there was also the time when, following the Clippers getting eliminated by Denver, George tried to give his teammates a motivational speech, only to be met with “eye rolls and bewilderment.”
There was also that whole ordeal 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.
Paulina Gretzky knows what she’s doing.https://t.co/zfKrfjY8iP
— Game 7 (@game7__) January 3, 2021
And of course former Clippers head coach Doc Rivers isn’t on the greatest of terms with George.
All of which is to say – George seems to have a tendency to rub people the wrong way. It’s not necessarily his fault all the time, but he is seemingly the common denominator in a whole lot of tiffs.