Paul George eager to prove worth after signing max deal
MANILA, Philippines – Indiana's All-Star wingman Paul George will be with the Pacers for the next five years after he signed a contract extension that may end up paying him more than $90-million.
Speaking to reporters in Manila on Tuesday, George said he was ready and eager to prove that he was worthy of the contract and the responsibilities that came with it.
"Oh yeah. You know, coming into this I was ready for expectations," said George, a 23-year-old guard/forward drafted 10th overall in 2010. "I say it every time I get asked that question - pressure builds character."
"I'm someone who's not satisfied with being where I'm at. I'm always gonna climb to higher and higher levels, so expectations only make me play better," he said.
Aside from playing in the All-Star game for the first time last year, George also won the league's Most Improved Player award and was named to the All-NBA Third Team.
His contract contains a provision known as the "Derrick Rose Rule," which means that George can be paid up to 30% of the Pacers' payroll if he is once again named to the All-NBA team or is voted as an All-Star starter.
Pacers head coach Frank Vogel said it was very important that the team had locked up George for the foreseeable future, and noted that it gave the team's fans something to be excited about.
"He is such a great basketball player," Vogel said of George. "Knowing that he's gonna be with us for five more years, that should give the people of Indianapolis a great deal of hope and excitement. We're really excited that that happened."
George averaged over 17 points per game during the regular season and increased that to 19 points per game in the playoffs. He is considered as one of the best up-and-coming players in the league, and is part of the Pacers core that also includes Roy Hibbert and David West.
George and the Pacers are in Manila to play the Houston Rockets in the NBA Global Games, the first ever pre-season game to be held in the Philippines, on Thursday at the Mall of Asia Arena.