PAUL George has a lofty goal for himself and the Indiana Pacers this coming season.
"I definitely want to be MVP this year," George said in an interview on Sirius XM NBA Radio on Wednesday (Thursday evening, Manila time).
"It would be a challenge, but with coach Nate (McMillan) and the guys that I got here, I'm in position to move into that spot, as long as I remain being me, being a leader, being aggressive, and wanting that. It's not mine for the taking. I gotta go get it. And this is my year to go get it."
George made the remarks following a newfound confidence resulting from a new coach and a reinforced lineup more suited to Pacers president for basketball operations Larry Bird’s vision of a run-and-gun team that would be able to challenge the powerhouses in the Eastern Conference.
Last season, the 26-year old forward averaged 23.1 points, seven rebounds, 4.1 assists, and 1.9 steals in 81 games. His performance earned him spots in the All-NBA third team and All-Defensive second team but the Pacers were hampered by a lack of talent.
Despite not getting a single vote for the MVP plum last season, George proved he can carry a team as he led an overmatched Pacers team that forced a seven-game war against second-seed Toronto Raptors in the first round of the postseason.
George believes this season will be different.
"What I'm looking at is it coming down to me getting us past the conference finals. I’m confident in myself. I'm confident in what I can do," said George.