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Words of wisdom from the NBA's Paul George

SportsBasketballNBADwight HowardPaul GeorgeIndiana Pacers

Paul George, 23, is a Southern California native on his way to becoming one of the best players in the NBA. He was named the league's most improved player last year. He's 6-foot-8 and plays for the Indiana Pacers.

On Tuesday night, he was a presenter at the Gatorade High School Athlete of the Year banquet in Hollywood. He showed off his SoCal fashion with flashy pink pants, a shiny black top and black shoes with shining silver.

Afterward, he talked about making it to the NBA out of Palmdale Knight and Fresno State. He also talked about Lakers rumors and Dwight Howard.

"It's not necessarily where you go to get seen," he said. "It's how well you perform. I didn't worry about the choice of the school I picked or not being a high marquee guy coming out of high school. I didn't let that affect my future."

He added, "As far as improvement, you really have to take every day to get better."

George's rookie contract ends after next season, and he'll become a restricted free agent, with the Pacers allowed to match any offer. As for those Lakers rumors, he said, "I'm happy to be in Indiana. It's no better place for me right now. Whatever happens, I'm happy being in Indiana. All the Lakers rumors, those can kind of die down, because I really don't have no plans to leave."

George said he doesn't fault Dwight Howard for leaving the Lakers. "I think it was a great decision and a great move on his behalf to go out on the limb and chase a dream," he said.

eric.sondheimer@latimes.com

 

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