OKLAHOMA CITY - From the moment he stepped off the plane, Paul George says he knew something was different about this place.
"It's just the love, the love from day one," George said.
Analysts were stunned when reports surfaced that Paul George had been traded to the Oklahoma City Thunder.
Following the announcement, George says that he decided to do a little bit of research on the team and the community, so he turned to former Thunder star Kevin Durant.
“KD was like, ‘That place will blow you away,'” George said. “He told me, ‘They can offer what other teams can’t in terms of the people and the preparation and the facility, down to the chefs and the meals.’ He was pretty high on them. He thought it was a first-class organization in every way.”
Before landing in Oklahoma City, he says he wasn't sure exactly what to expect.
“I’ve heard there might be people, like, at the airport,” he told Sports Illustrated.
However, he had no idea what would be waiting for him outside of Will Rogers World Airport.
Hundreds of fans braved the heat and more than an hour delay to welcome George to the Sooner State.
"We've been here for two hours almost, so we might as well stay longer. Yeah, he's worth it!" said Sandy Gregory.
Once George’s plane landed, Thunder fans began chanting “PG-OKC.”
George says that moment made a big impression on him.
"Getting off the plane and seeing 500 fans waiting outside. I've never been a part of something like that. Instantly, I felt the connection here," George said.
After landing in Oklahoma, George says he was taken to see the Oklahoma City National Memorial & Museum. Once there, he learned a little bit more about the state's ability to overcome and the passion behind everything the fans do.
"I felt, I don't want to say it's too soon but, Oklahoman," he said. "I felt the passion behind all of this. I love that connection that I have."