Gelb: Paul George Is “Playoff Pinocchio”

Paul George insists this season was not “championship-or-bust” for the Clippers; Zach Gelb couldn’t disagree more

Zach Gelb
September 17, 2020 - 8:22 am
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The Los Angeles Clippers squandered a 3-1 lead to the Denver Nuggets in their second-round playoff series, but have no fear, Clippers fans: this was not a “championship-or-bust” season for Los Angeles. At least that’s the narrative Paul George wants you to believe.

And Zach Gelb isn’t buying it.

“This is what I would say to Paul George: Why did you force a trade? Why did you want to team up with Kawhi Leonard?” Gelb said on The Zach Gelb Show. “Kawhi is synonymous with winning championships. Why would you want to go out to L.A. and join the Clippers if it wasn’t about winning a championship? Sure, you get out of OKC, you get to enjoy the great social life, the great atmosphere – but you did go to L.A. to win a championship. And you still may win a championship, but your window to win a championship is now. I don’t know what the future is going to be for the Los Angeles Clippers.”

George and Leonard are only under contract for one more season. The next three highest-paid players on the team – Marcus Morris, Patrick Beverley and Lou Williams – are all in their 30s.

“To say it wasn’t championship-or-bust this year, it’s one of the weakest things I’ve ever heard an athlete say after a disappointing loss,” Gelb said. “And not just one loss; you choked this series away being up 3-1. You blew a lead in Game 5, blew a lead in Game 6, and then your team in Game 7 scored 15 stinking points in the fourth quarter. That was a championship-or-bust season. You could have never watched basketball this season and just followed it on Twitter; you knew that the three teams that were championship-or-bust this year were the Bucks, the Lakers and the Clippers – and anything else but winning a championship is an absolute failure this year.”

George, Gelb said, shouldn’t have made excuses for the Clippers underachieving. He shouldn’t have minimized it. Instead, he should have taken accountability for what happened.

“I’ll tell you this: Doc Rivers thought it was championship-or-bust. Kawhi Leonard thought it was championship-or-bust,” Gelb said. “Instead, [Tuesday] night, Paul George lied to you. That’s what he did. He lied to you. Don’t tell me he’s Playoff P – because what he is is Playoff Pinocchio for that garbage, that absolute garbage, that he tried to sell you [Tuesday] night. ‘Oh, internally, we knew it wasn’t championship-or-bust.’ What? No one believes that. Take your ball, take your loss, take your sorrows and you go home. But before you go home, at least own it. Don’t give me that crap explanation that you did [Tuesday] night.”