Paul George acknowledged he needs to be the Indiana Pacers' leader as they continue to evolve their roster and playing style.
“I think I’m still young,” George said before his practice with the U.S. men’s Olympic team. “I can carry a team, I feel.”
The Pacers have been aggressive this offseason, acquiring Jeff Teague, Thaddeus Young and Al Jefferson.
“I’m glad he’s not letting me waste years,” he said of Bird. “I think Larry (Bird) and (the rest of the front office) have expressed how bad they want to get back to (the Eastern Conference finals) by these moves this offseason. I’m looking forward to getting us back there. He’s putting talent around me to help me get to what we all want to get accomplish, and that’s a championship.”
George is ready for the next challenge in his career.
“I’ve been molded all the way up to this point with having great veterans and great guys around me,” he said. “Now, it’s my solo opportunity of really being the leader and really being the locker room voice. I’m really looking forward to it; this is my chance and I’m going to make the heck out of it.
“Like I always say, it’s on me now.”