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Debate

Did Mike Trout's Philly roots really play a role in Paul George's decision to join the 76ers?

Seeing Paul George as a free agent available, the Philadelphia Sixers went all-out for him. In the end, they signed George for a four-year contract at $212 million. For now, he will play alongside Joel Embiid and Tyrese Maxey, but leaving his hometown was a big decision. Among other Sixer members, a major thanks goes to Mike Trout’s connection to en route Paul George toward the Phillies. 

Also, the Sixers assured George that he made the right decision to leave the Clippers. The team also posted a recruitment video featuring Philly fans sharing their love for the team. This might have given George a taste of the passion fans have for their team. Reacting to the video, Paul George said some interesting things about Mike Trout and their fellow Sixers. 

Paul George’s thoughts on the recruitment video

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The Sixers’ hard work paid off as they signed Paul George for the upcoming term. Reflecting on the video that made things happen for the team, Paul George said,” Saquon was in it, Lil Dicky, Kevin Hart, Mike Trout and It was just a ton of like they did this cool like thing of Philly natives. Talking about the city and what the Sixers mean to them and what it’ll mean me coming there. So it was a cool. It was a cool video, it had a lot of energy behind the city,” Indeed, very seldom do we see such big names in a single video appealing to a player to join their club. If that’s not all, key figures such as the team owners, management, and Sixers legend Julius Erving visited Paul’s home in Los Angeles.

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Do you think Mike Trout's Philadelphia connection influenced Paul George's decision to join the 76ers?

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With no mention, MLB star Mike Trout was actively involved in the appeal. He has a strong connection with Philadelphia spending his childhood in the nearby town. Also, he is a well-known fan of the Phillies in MLB and the Philadelphia Eagles in the NFL. Further, speaking on whether he wanted to leave LA or not, George said, “I never wanted to leave L.A. Initially, I was not trying to leave L.A. L.A. is home. This is where I wanted to finish,” via CBS News. One of the core reasons Paul decided to leave the Clippers was because of failed contract negotiations. 

George demanded a four-year contract at $212 million. However, the Clippers negotiated the deals with slight increments. Eventually, Paul’s final demand with them was a three-year contract at $150 million with a no-trade clause or a $212 four-year deal. In the end, the negotiations didn’t work out, leading to Paul George’s departure. 

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Mike Trout’s connection with the Philadelphia Phillies

Trout, hailing from New Jersey, still loves Philadelphia sports. He has been one player the Phillies needed in their armory. Also, he grew up being a die-hard Philadelphia Phillies fan and even attended their World Series parade in 2008. However, as much as the Phillies wanted him, his row of injuries made things difficult.

USA Today via Reuters

Dave Dombrowski, Phillies baseball president, always known to make bold moves, had his best try for Trout. From 2021 to 2023, Mike Trout missed most of his games, making him unavailable for trade. Also, his connection with the Phillies and Bryce Harper’s friendship on the MLB end made the fans believe he could play for Philadelphia as an outfielder.

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However, the Angels are in no mood to trade Mike Trout this season. Still, being unable to play for the Phillies, Trout’s love for them is sky-high. His presence in the Phillies video, along with others, might have impacted Paul George’s decision. Despite not knowing the city, still signing for the Sixers portrays Mike Trout’s impact on the Philadelphia Phillies