Reggie Miller on Paul George: ‘Hurts me to see him want to leave the Pacers’

Reggie Miller spent all 18 years of his NBA career in one city, Indianapolis. He was selected 11th overall by Donnie Walsh in the 1987 draft and called it a career in 2005.

Over that stretch, he was part of a 28-win team in 1989, which was the last time the franchise has finished with less than 32 wins in a season. He was also part of the most successful seasons in NBA franchise history: reaching their only NBA Finals in 2000, and winning 61 games in 2004.

So when Paul George made it public (through his agent) that he wanted to move on from his situation in Indianapolis, where he played his first seven seasons, the Hall of Famer says he doesn’t like the move.

[Ex-teammates react to Paul George being dealt to Oklahoma City]

Miller said last month that he didn’t see George leaving Indy. But George, who is 27, is compelled and motivated to return to Los Angeles to play for his hometown team.

Before then, he’ll spend a year in Oklahoma City after the Pacers completed a trade with the Thunder for Victor Oladipo and Domantas Sabonis a few hours before the start of the free-agent period.

Several times during his time in Indy, George talked about aspiring to be the best Pacers player in history, to surpass Miller, another California native. But his tune changed over the last two years.

From 2014: “I don’t want you guys to take this out of context, but he’s somebody that I look at and at the end of the day, I want to say I was the best Pacer to play here,” George said. “He set the bar high, he set the limits high and that’s just out of respect.

“I feel like if I get to that point and the next up-and-coming guy is ready to take that, I’ll be all for it. I just want to challenge him for it and it’s another bar that I can set, and be happy to accomplish.”

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