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LeBron says he has open door policy, would certainly speak to Paul George

Mar 7, 2014, 1:29 PM EDT

Indiana Pacers v Miami Heat - Game Five Getty Images

This drives some fans crazy. Maybe they live in a mythical world where they think the players their team should share a hatred of their rivals/opponents. They like to believe that kind of hatred used to exist among players, as if Michael Jordan and Charles Barkley didn’t used to hang out and party together. Players now think of it more as if they are in a fraternity and while they will go hard at guys on the court off the court is a different world.

So it shouldn’t be a shock that an up and coming player like Paul George says he would like to talk to and pick the brain of LeBron James during the offseason.

Nor should it be a surprise LeBron James is open to the idea, as he told Brian Windhorst of ESPN.

“Pick [my brain] like Hannibal Lector?” James said jokingly. “You know me, I don’t mind it at all. I don’t mind giving guys [advice], whatever he wants to ask. Guys know I have an open door/phone policy.”

As noted before, LeBron and Kevin Durant have had workouts together the past few summers. This kind of thing doesn’t bother me. If you are one of the game’s elite you need to learn from the best to beat the best — LeBron learned from guys before him, now he is passing on that knowledge. It’s the circle of NBA life. It’s not like LeBron will tell George, “you know you guys could beat us if you would just…”

Look at it this way: When you played pickup hoops, don’t you go harder at your friends than you do some random guy at the Y that day? That’s how it is with NBA guys. As long as it doesn’t impact the game on the court, fans need to relax.

  1. sellahh - Mar 7, 2014 at 1:40 PM

    Man, it must have been such a great world for the Michael Jordans and Larry Birds of former times. Imagine those ponies. Those unicorns. Those treasures at the end of rainbows. So mythical.

  2. maracineanu16 - Mar 7, 2014 at 1:55 PM

    This is classy. Hatred is UNPROFESSIONAL

    • ranfan12 - Mar 7, 2014 at 6:19 PM

      But is entertaining though. Truly bad part is the ways it affects other peoples decisions like the MJ and Isiah feud that prevented him from getting on the olympic team. that was bs.

  3. bluflower010 - Mar 7, 2014 at 2:01 PM

    What a nice gesture, from LeBron lets hope they become friends :)

    • gmsingh123 - Mar 8, 2014 at 10:28 AM

      Let’s hope George doesn’t wear the wrong type of jersey.

      P.S. This sounds an awful lot like Usher mentoring Bieber.

  4. favrewillplay4ever - Mar 7, 2014 at 2:07 PM

    Not a Heat fan by any means but LeBron Is the best in the game right now. He knows it increases his brand and overall league numbers if he can mentor the next batch of stars. Dudes worked his butt off and (despite the I’m going to south beach routine) is constantly working on his legacy.

    Best part about the guy in my eyes is that, even if you’re anti-Heat, you still see him enjoying the game and having fun playing a game he knows we’d all like to have the talent to play professionally for a pittance of what he earns.

    He’s a more mature and vastly more competitive version of the fun loving Dwight Howard.

  5. pharohislife - Mar 7, 2014 at 2:19 PM

    Playing against your friend is fun. But playing against someone you don’t like is 20x better. I’d rather trash-talk a random guy im battling with on the court than trash-talk my friend, cause then you know you got to back it up. Against your friend, if you don’t back it up you could just laugh it off.

    • brutl - Mar 7, 2014 at 5:51 PM

      Better for who? Those who are watching? Maybe.. I’d much rather play a game with friends, though. If I don’t like you I’d rather just not be around you. To have to play a game and guard each other is just asking for a fight. If that’s what you want, there are other sports you can do that in.

      • sdchargerdeserter420 - Mar 7, 2014 at 7:47 PM

        I know that I have to back myself up NO MATTER WHAT playa!! Don’t matter if its a friend or someone I dont like…. if we are competing, I’m playing to win. Your a lame if you think you don’t need to back up your word in every situation if its on the line.

  6. pdixon920 - Mar 7, 2014 at 2:22 PM

    Couldn’t agree more, well said. The only people that are bothered by this are the same trolls who will post ridiculously offensive stuff about fans of other teams on-line, or the same idiots who would fight someone for wearing a different jersey. I think its a good thing, and you’re right, it has always happened. I can’t speak for anyone else here but I wanted to destroy my friends worse than people I didn’t know on the athletic field. People watching us would swear we hated each other, and when the game was over, that’s where it stayed. More people should take up this way of looking at sports across the board, instead of taking it so damn seriously and personally.

  7. jbeagles23 - Mar 7, 2014 at 2:28 PM

    I once fist fought my cousin in a gym hockey class back in high school

  8. 1forest1 - Mar 7, 2014 at 2:31 PM

    “When you played pickup hoops, don’t you go harder at your friends than you do some random guy at the Y that day?” I disagree, I play harder with people i hate/despise. If i am playing against friends I will sometimes unintentionally hold back, but if i’m match up with a player i’m sick and tired of, you better believe I’m going to go at him harder. Those are the type of games I like to see as a fan, the ones where the players go neck and neck to each other, and don’t worry about the other player’s feelings. These NBA players aren’t randoms at the Y, and they’re not playing for a day or just for fun, they’re playing a tough grinded down series where you don’t have time to worry about your friend on the other team. I can live with losing to my friend, but losing to someone I hate is unforgivable.

    • davidly - Mar 7, 2014 at 2:59 PM

      Oh, man, you’re that random guy at the Y who hates every random guy at the Y.

      • sumkat - Mar 7, 2014 at 10:25 PM

        lol, I’m picturing Jim Carrey in “Cable Guy” right now

  9. pharohislife - Mar 7, 2014 at 2:32 PM

    Even if you don’t Trash-Talk but just are in a kind of personal battle with a stranger on the court, you know when it gets a little physical, or a little back and forth, then you feel you have to win that battle at that point, I have too much pride to not want to win that type of battle and if you don’t win it would bother me more than if it was against a friend, because again with your friend you can just laugh it off. With a stranger im not laughing.

    This all besides the main point of the article by the way.

  10. buffalowned - Mar 7, 2014 at 2:39 PM

    This gets way more attention than it should. Talking and working out in the offseason does not affect how these guys play against each other in the playoffs or their level of competitiveness. People act like LeBron played mind games with Durant and that affected how Durant played in the finals, when in reality the Heat were just better. When Paul George is matched up with LeBron, he’s going to try to score on him…not back off because they are friends. No one makes a big deal when young quarterback’s reach out to Peyton Manning for advice. I don’t see how this is any different.

  11. sellahh - Mar 7, 2014 at 2:44 PM

    My question: who goes 100% in pickup games anyway? You’ll must be some unfulfilled NBA prospects if that’s the case. Pickup games are for fun. If I’m playing for 5 pair of socks, sure I’ll spit my lungs out but to want to destroy your friend in a pickup game? Such a dumb narrative that’s been repeated over and over and over again. Doesn’t change the buddy buddy reality of todays NBA.

    • aboogy123456 - Mar 7, 2014 at 3:11 PM

      I go 100% in every pickup game. It’s much more fun when people play hard and I think it’s a waste of time when I’m playing pickup and everybody is joking around and not playing defense or whatever. I’m not really a good player but i love basketball and I want to get better at the things I enjoy.

    • fanofthegame79 - Mar 7, 2014 at 3:13 PM

      I see this no differently than sharing best practices at your own work. I compete with my counterparts at work – we have scorecards and we get bonuses depending on how high we’re ranked; however, we’re still trying to better the overall health of our company. This can be looked at in the same way – if players train together in the off-season and push each other to be better, that helps the overall NBA product.

      • sellahh - Mar 7, 2014 at 4:38 PM

        Playing hard doesn’t mean giving 100%. 100% means you feel like you can’t move and yet you do. 110% to me is moving even further with every single breath you lose. 120% is like exceeding your expectations by 20% of a mile.

      • mytthor - Mar 8, 2014 at 7:26 PM

        No, actually 100% is the most you can give and 110% and 120% are stupid cliches.

    • sumkat - Mar 7, 2014 at 10:32 PM

      partially agree. I’m going to give effort and compete in every game I play, including now that I’m an old man (33) playing in pick up games

      But no, I’m not giving 100% like high school/college. I’m not diving for lose balls and stuff like that. But if your doing stuff like that in a pick up game, there something wrong with you

      IMO, 100% in a pick up game is just playing actual basketball. Setting picks, helping on defense, going for rebounds, talking on the court, etc. The game where people aren’t giving “100%” are the ones where it’s basically “lets get out of the way and see if this guy can dribble in place for 15 seconds before throwing up a contested jump shot while we all stand and watch”. Where you beat your man, and you know that’s it, free drive to the lane, because nobody is coming to help him

      But overall, you are right, anyone who is REALLY giving everything they have in a pick up game is just a weirdo. Cable Guy wannabes

  12. progress2011 - Mar 7, 2014 at 3:05 PM

    “The Decision”

    Was probably the best thing that could have happened to LBJ. It made him realize how the media/ business world truly works and how QUICKLY things can turn on you.

    I believe how he endured that….made a true man of him and now he is a capable leader.

    Big Props Young Fella !!!

  13. azarkhan - Mar 7, 2014 at 3:26 PM

    Barkley spoke against this on TNT last night and I agree with him. I personally think it’s more than a little weird and suggests that Paul George feels inferior to James. But we’ll see when the Heat face the Pacers in the Eastern Conference Finals.

    • drewdatwit84 - Mar 7, 2014 at 8:49 PM

      uh, he’s LeBron James. The best basketball player on planet Earth. EVERYBODY on any basketball court SHOULD feel inferior to LeBron James bcuz he’s BETTER than everyone on any basketball court. Besides, how much of an ignorant prideful know-it-all must u be to not ask for help at some point in your career or your life, especially when u happen to NEED some help. Drop the pride, cut the drama, stop the rival negativity, seek help.

  14. opinevain - Mar 7, 2014 at 3:55 PM

    Think its a dumb gesture by George but whatever

  15. football58 - Mar 7, 2014 at 5:45 PM

    Jason Collins also has an open door policy. Back door that is.

    • progress2011 - Mar 7, 2014 at 6:01 PM

      If strait folk are supposed to accept all these other alternative life-styles….I vote for Polygamy !!!

      I won’t judge the other life-styles if I can have 3 more wives …..ahahahah!!!

      Next election….I’m voting for the candidate that will legalize MY RIGHT to have as many wives as I want!!!

      Until we get that on the books….I can judge whatever life-style I want, that is being forced on our society!

      This is DISCRIMINATION….Against STRAIT MEN and our RIGHTS !!!!

      • mytthor - Mar 8, 2014 at 7:27 PM


      • mytthor - Mar 8, 2014 at 7:31 PM

        You can judge any lifestyle you want, because a lifestyle is a series of choices someone makes about how they will behave. But gay isn’t a lifestyle. If you believe that gay men and women make the choice, then that means that you could be gay, if you just decided to. You could just wake up one day and decide, “I’m going to be sexually aroused by guys.”

        I’m straight, and I can tell you I didn’t make a choice. I’m into women, not men, and I can’t do anything about that.

    • sumkat - Mar 7, 2014 at 10:21 PM

      you can call me whatever phobic, or whichever-ist, but this was one of the few that have literally made me lol

      Well done sir

      • football58 - Mar 8, 2014 at 8:31 AM

        Thanks! I am just a smart A_$, don’t really have anything against how people live their lives. Glad to make someone laugh.

  16. sumkat - Mar 7, 2014 at 10:20 PM

    Not sure why people think player should not like each other off the court. Even in any city, on the blacktop, generally what happens on the court stays there. Outside of doing something to REALLY try to hurt someone. Yes during games, you will see elbows thrown, kidney shots, trash talk of epic degrees, and generally behavior that would result in an instant fight in normal life.

    Yet at most courts anyway, it’s rare that any sort of fight breaks out, and once the game is over, those same guys hang out and have a beer (or whatever). There is only one difference, they are MUCH richer. I’m sure there are a few guys that LeBron wouldn’t want to work with, if he admits it or not. But in general, I would think most players would feel this way. Especially in this day and age when todays bitter rival could be tomorrows teammate

  17. antistratfordian - Mar 8, 2014 at 2:49 AM

    What a good guy, this LeBron. Class act.

  18. campcouch - Mar 8, 2014 at 4:15 AM

    I just find it strange that he chose LeBron. He’s got Larry Bird in his arena. And LeBron has an “open door policy”…that’s hilarious. Like he’s a guidance counselor for the entire league. James may be a diabolical genius. He did train with KD one summer and sowed a seed of jealousy,supplanted D-Wade as Miami’s franchise player,marginalized Bosh,destroyed the Cavs,Knicks,Brooklyn and crippled the Mavs. Now he’s open to giving the closest competition in the East some “sage advice”. Well played LeBron,well played.

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