Don’t look now, but the Pacers have finally taken rookie Paul George out of the box. In last Wednesday’s win over the Mavericks, George came off the bench to score 16 points in only 18 minutes, including back-to-back treys early in the fourth quarter. (He was 4-of-6 from beyond the arc for the game.) And with the trade whispers surrounding Mike Dunleavy becoming louder as February’s trade deadline approaches, the 6-8, 210-pound small forward from Fresno State could be handed the keys to the starting lineup sooner than you think. In an exclusive interview, we got up with Paul to talk about his video games, music and kicks.
Dime: How has the NBA transition been for you this season?
Paul George: The transition has been picking up. I feel like I’m progressing each game and each practice, but I just want to continue to learn and continue to try and help my team in any way I can.
Dime: With a few veterans on the team, who have you learned the most from?
PG: I spend a lot of time with Danny [Granger], Dahntay [Jones] and Brandon [Rush]. Those three have really been the ones who have been big brothers and been a mentor to myself. So we spend a lot of time together outside of practice, come by play video games, hang out, go eat. It’s good to have guys like that around, guys that you can look up to and help you with your game.
Dime: Who was it that you grew up watching the most? Who did you pattern your game after?
PG: I feel like I took a lot of things from a lot of different players. Growing up, Kobe Bryant was the guy that I always looked up to and watched. That’s a player I always wanted to pattern my game like, but his game is so advanced so it’ll take some time. But I looked up to Josh Howard, Joe Johnson, Tracy McGrady. Those are the guys that I really looked up to growing up.
Dime: What video games have you been playing?
PG: I’m always on the (NBA) 2K11 of course, college football (NCAA Football 11), Call of Duty. That’s probably the top three games that get played the most right now.
Dime: How do you think 2K11 did with your rating in the game?
PG: I think they did alright. (laughs) Hopefully I can kill the rest of the season so I can get boosted up a little bit more. I’ve been dropping triple-doubles with myself, so if I was any better I don’t know how much I would go for.
Dime: I see you have Beats by Dre headphones. What have you been listening to lately?
PG: I got the new Rick Ross, the new Ashes To Ashes mixtape. I love that mixtape. I listen to a lot of Lil Wayne, a lot of Drake, a lot of Jadakiss…Wiz [Khalifa]. I’ve got a nice little selection on my iPod.
Dime: I’ve see you’re playing in the Nike Zoom Hyperfuse right now. What’s your favorite shoe you’ve worn this year?
PG: I’ve been playing in all kind of shoes. I think I played in seven or eight shoes already. I played in Kobes, Hyperdunks… a little bit of everything. My favorites are probably the Kobes. I’m really into low top sneakers. The Kobes are light and they feel good.
Dime: How deep is your personal collection?
PG: It’s pretty deep. I’d probably say 60-70 shoes in there right now.
Dime: What’s the prize pair?
PG: I don’t know, I’ve got quite a few. I’ve got some Olympic 7s (Air Jordan VII Retro Olympic), but I couldn’t even call out everything – I’ve got so much stuff. I just recently ordered some new stuff that I’m happy with. Just trying to stack that closet up.
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