The Indiana Pacers are coming off of a major collapse at the end of last season, and it seemed that the team was having internal issues throughout the entire struggle. Teammates simply weren’t communicating with each other, and the team oriented basketball that Pacers fans had come to love was long gone. Roy Hibbert was talking to the media about selfish teammates, while there were reports coming out that Lance Stephenson and Evan Turner exchanged punches in practice.
According to Paul George, there were no locker room issues at all down the stretch of the season.
As for the off-court drama, George said: “We had no locker room issues. You are going to clash. You got guys that got into it. But there was nothing that broke our chemistry. We were still [close] as a team.”
Perhaps this is George simply trying to avoid the question altogether and stay away from what the true issues were. It seems strange that George could call punches being thrown in practice and negative comments towards each other in the media, no locker room issues. The Pacers definitely had locker room issues, and these types of comments do nothing but anger the fans even more.
George has made other comments about last season over the past couple of weeks that sound more like empty, meaningless excuses. His other comment was that the Pacers had “peaked” too early, which certainly doesn’t hold much water. The Pacers were playing great basketball at the beginning of the season, but there is no such thing as “peaking too early.” Indiana came back and played decent basketball in the Washington Wizards series before losing embarrassingly to the Miami Heat in six games.
Overall, these types of comments are simply avoiding the real cause of the downfall of the 2013-14 Pacers. Something happened between the team and in the locker room that started the collapse, and it likely had something to do with Stephenson since he chose to sign elsewhere. At the very least, George needed to come out and be honest about the issues, but claim that they didn’t have an impact on what happened in their losing streak.