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Paul George had one job.

After scoring his team’s last six points, all within the final minute of the game, all he had to do to seal the deal was hit his free throws.

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But instead, with just 8.2 seconds left in the game and the Los Angeles Clippers clinging for dear life to a 103-102 lead, the alleged superstar committed the unpardonable sin:

Possessed by the Ghost of Nick Anderson Past, George didn’t miss just one, but both freebies.

Jesus wept. Lucifer might’ve buried his face in his hands and did the same.

But while a devastating blow, there was still hope. Maybe Devin Booker doesn’t march down the court and drain a soul-crushing 15-footer at the buzzer. Maybe Cameron Payne, who spent the entire game obliterating any and everything in his way, beats his man but is unable to finish at the rim.

Those precious 8.2 seconds felt like an eternity as the Suns missed a potential game-winner before the ball was then tipped out of bounds. So with less than a second left in the game—0.9 seconds to be exact—mad scientist Monty Williams rallied his troops and went to work. Without even batting his eye, the guy who should’ve won NBA Coach of the Year broke out his beakers and Bunsen burners and devised the play that might very well define his career:

In the time it took Jae Crowder to dish the perfect lob to blossoming star Deandre Ayton, “Paul George,” “Pandemic P,” “Playoff P,” and the internet’s latest creation, “Wayoff P,” were all trending on Twitter.

Jesus wept. Lucifer might’ve buried his face in his hands and did the same.

If the Clippers somehow miraculously win this series and bounce back from their third consecutive 0-2 hole in these playoffs, PG’s demoralizing faux pas will be nothing more than a light-hearted jab over drinks at happy hour. But if the Clippers are unable to dig themselves out of this hole, a hole that feels infinitely more daunting with the uncertainty of Kawhi Leonard’s return, Paul George might want to relocate to a new zip code after serving as the springboard for one of the greatest plays in the history of the NBA Playoffs.

I hear Temecula has wonderful weather.

“I don’t think you like to start two games in a hole,” Clippers guard Patrick Beverley said after the loss. “This was a hard game to swallow because you look at this game […] we got this game won.”

That they did. That is until /Playoff P/ /Pandemic P/ Wayoff P reared his ugly head.

“I mean, I’m not going to put too much on that,” George said after resuscitating the Clippers’ Curse. “Obviously it was an opportunity that was missed. Pat made an unbelievable play that put me in position to extend the lead. I’m always confident at the free-throw line. I’ve always been very successful in clutch moments at the free-throw line. Tonight, I was just unsuccessful in extending the lead. So I’m not going to put too much on that. Fact of the matter is, we still were in position to win a ballgame late in the game.”

Well, I mean, yeah. The Clippers were in a position to win the game until you missed those damn free throws. And that’s not to harp on the negative, but if LeBron James or Kobe Bryant did the same thing, you don’t think they’d accept responsibility for the loss instead of sidestepping accountability for their failures? Leaders lead, and as has been proven time and time again, Paul George is not that guy.

But you know who is that guy? The same dude who’s missed the last two games after testing positive for COVID. He’s also the same guy who FaceTimed his teammates after George finished gift-wrapping the Suns the win.

And because of the confidence, resilience, and attention to detail that Chris Paul has installed in Phoenix, while helping to implement a culture of accountability, those same teammates go hard whether CP3 is on the floor or not—as evidenced by last night.

George could learn a thing or two about that; the real question is if the opportunity to do so has already passed.