Jimmy Kimmel pushes Lakers numerous times during Paul George’s appearance on his show

“Our next guest is a four-time NBA All-Star, an Olympic Gold Medalist. And here in Los Angeles, we would really like for him to be a Laker, too. From the Indiana Pacers, PG-13, Paul George.”

And so it began.

Pacers star Paul George appeared on ABC’s late-night show, Jimmy Kimmel Live!, for the second time Monday night. Considering the fact that the show was taped in California, specifically in Hollywood, of course the Lakers would be brought up. And they were, more than a half dozen times.

First, though, George was asked about the NBA postseason. He said he’s still paying close attention because its the game he loves.

“I root for the team who beat me,” he was saying, “because they’ve done a good job. I just like to see good ball, man.”

[Lakers fans tried to recruit Paul George at Disneyland]

Among players still in the postseason, George says Kevin Durant may be the one he’s closest to. The two spent significant time together last July and August playing for Team USA and bringing home Gold.

“I became really close with Kevin Durant,” he said. “Really good friend.”

Paul George smiles big when asked several times about possibly playing in Los Angeles.

George then shared how he spent draft night 2010, when the Pacers selected him 10th overall. The rest is history.

“It was fun,” he recalled. “Honestly, it was my first time to New York for one. And my families’ first time to New York. And my parents’ first time flying, period. It was awesome to get my grandmother there, my dad, my mom. We had family friends there, my sisters. It was a big group.”

“Actually, we got pretty wasted,” he said of the after party. He would have been 20 years old at the time. “My dad and I — I remember going out. We got wasted, we got trashed, and they didn’t tell me I had to go to Indy until like after a couple drinks were going down, that I had to go meet Larry Bird and the whole organization that next morning.

“So we caught like a 7:00 am flight going to Indiana and we’re like out of it. And there we were.”

See Also: George will find out if he’s voted on an All-NBA team, in line for supermax extension on Thursday

Then, the conversation turned yet again to Los Angeles. Kimmel replayed the video of Lakers President Magic Johnson on his show last month and the strong message Magic sent to Paul George, who they’d like to have back in L.A.

“Nah man,” George said in response to whether it has any impact on him. “I love Magic. I love Magic. Great dude.”

“Good,” Kimmel butted in. “You’re going to be working for him.”

Smiling ear-to-ear, George replied: “I know I’ll always get those ties. I’m an L.A. kid. Actually, in my home, Kobe is like the biggest person in my house. Not even me.”

Good for George, making a joke about the whole thing. While George has always idolized Kobe, he grew up a Clippers fan. He even named a pitbull after him last summer.

Kimmel spoke up: “Have you talked with Kobe about coming to the Lakers?”

George responded, “No yet,” and added “I plan to work out with him, pick his brain a little bit.” He’s absolutely nervous about that. “I’m training now to get ready to work out with him,” he quipped.

Kimmel later said: I hope he tells you to come to the Lakers. (Yeah, he went there yet again.) But, of course, to people in Indiana, this is the worst-case scenario for them, right?

[laughs]

“It is,” George said. “I love Indy though, man. It’s really a hard…” … and then Kimmel interrupted again with a joke before allowing PG to complete his thought.

The seven-minute interview concluded with Paul discussing his signature shoe, the PG1. The color way Kimmel displayed on his desk are the “Catch-24,” which celebrates PG’s deep respect for first-ballot Hall of Fame player and person Tamika Catchings, who retired last fall after 15 seasons in the WNBA — and four Olympic gold medals.

Overall, George was obviously more comfortable this second time around. He wore a subtle outfit that was surprisingly quiet – a black long-sleeve knit shirt and tight-fitting gray sweatpants. Also surprising, he didn’t wear a pair of his PG1s.

Again, George was asked about potentially being a Laker, playing for his hometown team, the team Kobe used to lead, several times. He handled it well, laughing it off and trying to change the subject. That was a tough spot for him because he can’t share exactly how he feels, and he’s got to be careful about what he does say.

(Here is PG before the show with his agent, Aaron Mintz, in the background.)

The following image was tweeted out twice. The original one, where Kimmel said “hopefully future Laker” was deleted.

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