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    'Team player' George expects no friction, changes from return of fit-again Granger

    Oct 9, 2013
    Indiana Pacers star Paul George mingles with a Special Olympics athlete during the NBA Cares program on Wednesday at the Mall of Asia Arena. Jerome Ascano

    PAUL George welcomes the return of Danny Granger from a long injury layoff, saying he isn't concerned with how their roles will play out with the Indiana Pacers in the coming NBA season.

    Granger was the Pacers' recognized franchise play before he sat out most of last season due to an injury, and his absence has allowed George to blossom into the team's new go-to guy in a playoff run that saw Indiana extend the Miami Heat to seven games in the Eastern Conference finals.

    That tag was all the more validated when George signed a new US$80 million contract extension in the offseason.

    “It’s good to have Danny back because he has been helping everyone out. It feels good to have Danny back. Having him back is huge for us,” said George, who averaged a career-high 17.4 points for the Pacers last season and played a starring role in the playoff run.

    George said Granger's return will in no way affect his role in the team, insisting that he is and will always be a team player in a ballclub with a team-first philosophy.

    “I’m not coming into this year with any agenda, getting extra touches or shots. I’m going to do whatever this team needs to do in the game,” said George.

    George said the Manila experience will only solidify the team-first mentality of the team.

    “This is huge for us because we are a team that relies on one another. Our chemistry has been amazing already and this will only boost our chemistry even more," he said.

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    “What made last season special was how close we are. This is only good for us.”

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    Indiana Pacers star Paul George mingles with a Special Olympics athlete during the NBA Cares program on Wednesday at the Mall of Asia Arena. Jerome Ascano
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