Russell Westbrook not amused by fans’ chants for Paul George to return to L.A.

Russell Westbrook listens to a question during his All-Star media session on Saturday.
(Jayne Kamin-Oncea / Getty Images)

All-Star media day had an audience this year and as Paul George shared his thoughts on the myriad questions posed to him, the fans a few hundred feet away, likely Lakers fans, started chanting “We Want Paul! We Want Paul!”

George smiled and chuckled hearing it.

“It feels good to be welcomed,” George said. “I think anybody would want to be wanted and to be welcomed. So, that’ll always feel great.”

A few podiums away, George’s teammate, Russell Westbrook, another southern California product, didn’t have quite as positive a reaction. Westbrook heard the fans and shouted angrily in their direction amid his own news conference.


“Paul ain’t going nowhere!” Westbrook said. “It’s over for that!”

Ever since George told the Indiana Pacers he wanted to leave in free agency to play for the Lakers, local fans have embraced the idea. George was traded to the Oklahoma City Thunder and has said he’ll consider staying there. He was cheered like a member of the home team during player introductions before the first time the Lakers hosted the Thunder.

George was asked on Saturday if he knew what he planned to do this summer.

“I don’t,” George said. Then he paused. “I know what I feel is best, but it’s a long ways until the end of the season.”

— Tania Ganguli

Hall of Fame finalists set

Point guards could run the show in the next Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame class, with Jason Kidd and two-time NBA MVP Steve Nash among the 13 finalists announced Saturday morning.

Ray Allen, Grant Hill, Maurice Cheeks and Chris Webber also made the cut, but the two standout point guards are all but locks to headline the class, which will be unveiled during the NCAA Final Four in San Antonio.


Charles “Lefty” Driesell, Rudy Tomjanovich and Baylor’s Kim Mulkey made the final ballot as coaches. Katie Smith, Tina Thompson and longtime NBA official Hugh Evans are also finalists.

The 1953-58 Wayland Baptist University teams that won 131 consecutive games and four AAU national championships is the lone team finalist while Andy Bernstein and Doris Burke were named recipients of the 2018 Curt Gowdy media award

Finalists must receive 18 votes from the 24-member honors committee to be enshrined. The entire class will be unveiled during the NCAA Final Four in San Antonio.

— Associated Press