Paul George was back in his native state Wednesday, helping Indiana, 6-14 on the road after the Pacers’ 106-100 win, get on track against the Kings at Golden 1 Center.
During warmups, the Palmdale product who played at Fresno State noticed a young fan holding a sign that read, “Paul George is my hero.” George high-fived him. The little boy beamed while recalling George gave him his game shoes at a Kings game last season.
He’s really difficult (to cover). He’s very unique, a special talent in our league, a point-center, being able to handle the ball, shoot 3s. He’s a load in the paint, in the pick-and-roll. He can do anything and everything on the court. We’ll be locked in (against him).
Paul George, Pacers forward, on DeMarcus Cousins
George, averaging 22.0 points this season, complimented the Kings’ Rudy Gay, his matchup at forward, and DeMarcus Cousins, George’s Team USA teammate.
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On Gay: “I’ve matched up with Rudy a lot of times now. We have a lot of similarities. He pretty much plays around the whole floor.”
On Cousins: “He’s really difficult (to cover). He’s very unique, a special talent in our league, a point-center, being able to handle the ball, shoot 3s. He’s a load in the paint, in the pick-and-roll. He can do anything and everything on the court. We’ll be locked in (against him).”
Sidelined – Kings guard Ty Lawson did not play against the Pacers, though he tried.
Lawson is dealing with a sprained left ankle and gave it a go in warmups. But he was cautious in his stops and starts, saying, “I can’t go,” as he walked off the floor.
The Kings were also without forward Omri Casspi, who strained a tendon in his right calf during practice Monday. He had played in just six of the previous 15 games.
Rondo rant – As a King last season, Rajon Rondo led the NBA in assists with 11.7 per game, but it doesn’t sound as if he enjoyed the experience much.
Last offseason, Rondo signed a two-year, $28 million contract with the Chicago Bulls, his fourth team since 2015. Rondo, who recently fell out of the rotation for five games, is averaging 6.9 assists.
Rondo told NBA.com he still has value. “I mean, last year – I hate to keep talking about last year – but you couldn’t name three people on my team, the Sacramento Kings, and I led the league in assists.”
Seth Curry, a King last season now with the Dallas Mavericks, responded to Rondo on Twitter by posting a link to a quiz titled, “Can you name the 2015-16 Sacramento Kings?”
The Kings in effect replaced Rondo with Lawson.
I’ve matched up with Rudy a lot of times now. We have a lot of similarities. He pretty much plays around the whole floor.
Paul George, Pacers forward, on Rudy Gay
Cousins climb – Cousins entered Wednesday 44 points shy of eclipsing Peja Stojakovic (9,498) for second on the Kings’ all-time scoring list in the Sacramento era, which started in 1985. The leader is Mitch Richmond with 12,070 points.
McMillan milestone – Pacers coach Nate McMillan entered Wednesday with 499 victories, 29th on the all-time list. He would become the fourth active coach to reach 500, joining Gregg Popovich of the San Antonio Spurs, Doc Rivers of the Los Angeles Clippers and Rick Carlisle of the Mavericks.
Joe Davidson: 916-321-1280, @SacBee_JoeD