Paul George might very well be a rental for the Oklahoma City Thunder, but that won’t be because the OKC fans weren’t enthusiastic about having him as a part of the team.

It’s a rabid fanbase, one that adopted the Hornets in the wake of Katrina, to the point that they became the obvious go-to market for teams threatening to leave their cities for greener pastures. That team obviously ended up being the Sonics, and though Seattle was clearly robbed, that’s not the fault of Oklahoma City fans.

Paul George essentially forced the Pacers into trading him, and he’s given every outward sign of a player determined to play out his current contract and head to his hometown Lakers next summer. But the Thunder still have Russell Westbrook, also in a contract year, and they’re banking on the two guys loving their chemistry enough to stay on for the long-term.

Fans are doing their part already, showing up in droves to welcome George at the airport:

George took the time to shake a few hands as well:

Whether or not George stays might be beyond the fans control. But it’s hard to imagine this being anything but a positive, and at the very least, it shows that even if they lose out on their stars (like they did with Durant), players who do want to play for the Thunder are going to be treated very well.


About Jay Rigdon

Jay is a writer and editor for The Comeback, and a contributor at Awful Announcing. He is not a strong swimmer.