Elias Brunt: 11-year-old Indy native emotional about PG13 moving to his new home of OKC

Elias on YouTube

ISL Writer

Editor’s Note: Elias is an 11-year-old Pacers fan who was born in Indianapolis. His father, Cliff Brunt, covered Paul George and the Indiana Pacers for The Associated Press and ISL before moving the family to Oklahoma City so he could cover the Thunder for the AP. Though Elias likes the Thunder, the Pacers have remained his favorite team. Elias is a straight-A student who is in the Moore Public Schools’ gifted program. These are Elias’ words, with a little help from Dad.

OKLAHOMA CITY — Paul George has been my favorite player in the NBA for years.

Elias and Cliff at Thunder vs. Pacers in Indianapolis, 2014.

Elias and Cliff at Thunder vs. Pacers in Indianapolis, 2014.

My player on 2K every year has George’s last name. It’s that serious.

When I found out PG13 was leaving my hometown team and coming to my new home, Oklahoma City, I felt a lot of things at the same time. I was happy because now, instead of seeing him once a year, I get to see him 41 times a year. But the problem was that the Pacers made a bad trade. They had multiple trade options to teams who had better players that they could have traded for. I would have liked to see the Pacers get Kevin Love. Instead, they got a rookie (Domantas Sabonis) and Victor Oladipo, for a multiple time All-Star.

This is a lot better than I thought things would end up with PG. I found out recently that he would probably leave the Pacers when my dad showed me an article that said he would prefer to go to the Lakers. My dad learned not to wait to tell me those kinds of things because I found out Frank Vogel was leaving by watching ESPN. I didn’t believe PG wanted to leave at first _ I just don’t really believe this stuff until I get multiple sources that say it, and Yahoo was the only one who said it at that time. I thought at the time, “Well, I guess I like the Lakers now.”

Elias' created 2K player, Ellis George.

Elias’ created 2K player, Ellis George.

Well, now, for the first time, I really, really like the Thunder. Oklahoma City is going to have a good team this year. I think the Thunder are going to have a contending team this year, especially if they can make more moves.

PG has been a player that I have watched the whole time I’ve been a Pacers fan. Since some of our key players left, he was basically the main player carrying the team, and the main reason they were still a competitive team. I like his playing style. I like the way he can shoot, but he can also attack the basket and drive. He’s one of those players you can’t defend from a certain point because he can get you both ways.

But it’s not just how he plays.

I remember how my dad used to take me to the practices for the Pacers. I still remember the practice facility. I actually met PG after a practice in 2011, when he was a rookie. I was five years old. I didn’t notice he was there until my dad stopped him, and I got to high-five him and everything. It was a really cool thing, and one of the things I remember about him.

Elias and Cliff at Thunder vs. Pacers in Oklahoma City, 2016.

Elias and Cliff at Thunder vs. Pacers in Oklahoma City, 2016.

When the Thunder hosted the Pacers in 2016, my dad talked to Paul during the day. Dad was covering the game that night, and he told Paul I was coming to the game and where I would be sitting. Once the Pacers had obviously had the win, I was pretty much the only person who was all happy and standing up in the crowd. Then, one of the best things that could have possibly happened really happened. Paul George looked up to where I was sitting. He could probably tell it was me cheering. I got so excited that he looked at me!! I asked my friends, “Did you all see that!”

Now, all my friends can cheer for him, too!!

Follow Cliff Brunt on Twitter: www.twitter.com/CliffBruntAP.

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