Los Angeles Clippers guard Paul George and Portland Trail Blazers guard Carmelo Anthony were teammates in Oklahoma City for only the 2017-18 season, but Anthony left enough of an impression for George to defend him.
The Clippers defeated the Trail Blazers 117-97 Tuesday night, but George sided with Anthony afterward (h/t ESPN's Ohm Youngmisuk):
"I'm not going to be happy with (the criticism), with how they tried to shoot him down when he first started. I am not going to be happy now that he's playing well and they want to be on his side. He is going to have a long season. Let him play. Let him hoop.
"Say what you want when he's finished, but let him hoop. It's great that he's getting that recognition now. When it is all said and done—people, let him play and let him hoop. It's tough regardless when he came back; he had been out over a year, so there's going to be some ups and downs. But let Melo hoop."
George's comments were directed at negative reaction to Anthony being named the Western Conference Player of the Week on Monday. Per ESPN, the last time Anthony earned the recognition was March 10, 2014.
In seven games with Portland, all starts, Anthony has averaged 16.4 points, 6.0 rebounds and 2.0 assists.