George invited to participate in All-Star events, but hasn’t made final decision yet
As Paul George’s status continues to be on the rise, the demands have followed. The Pacers’ fourth-year guard said Saturday that the NBA had invited him to participate in more than just the 63rd NBA All-Star game, which will be held in New Orleans on Feb. 16.
As the second-leading vote getter in the Eastern Conference, we know he’ll play in that game for the second straight year. But George revealed that the league had recently reached out to gauge his interest in competing in the other weekend’s events, which are held Saturday evening: the fan-favorite slam dunk contest, skills challenge, and the 3-point contest.
The chances of him competing are slim, as he would prefer to rest and enjoy the weekend in The Big Easy. He is still open to the idea of taking part in at least one event and plans to decide in the next few days.
When asked whether he had declined the offers, George said, “No, I haven’t declined. I’m keeping my options open.”
In particular with the dunk contest, George, who fans would love to see be involved after he showed off a 360-degree slam in Saturday’s win, would like to see it taken more seriously.
“It would all depend on who’s in it,” he stated. “I want to be in it when the competition is good.”
You know a player is at an elite level when he is considering turning down these invitations because All-Star weekend is typically a time where lesser-known guys or an up-and-coming player can be noticed.
He has been actively involved at the past two All-Star weekends. In Houston last year, he played in the big game and was in the 3-point contest. The year before, George and his glow-in-dark-uniform placed third in the dunk contest and he played in the ‘Rising Stars Challenge,’ the same game he was left out of as a rookie.
Frank Vogel and his staff will be down there to coach the Eastern Conference team, which should have at least three members of the NBA’s best team. Lance Stephenson, the flashiest player on the Pacers, said he won’t be involved in any of those events, but he does have a message for his teammate.
“I ain’t got no dunks like that,” he said. “Paul, that’s the guy that needs to be in the dunk contest.”