PENSION WARNING: Savers accessing pots early falling into ‘disastrous’ tax trap

Accessing savings early has become the “new norm” since reforms were introduced in 2015, an interim review of the market by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) found.

However, more than one out of two people fully withdrawing pension pots are simply putting the cash into alternative savings products, which can often leave savers with unnecessary tax bills and poor interest rates, according to the regulator’s study of retirement income.

Distrust of pensions is part of the reason why people choose to shift money out of dedicated retirement schemes, the FCA report showed.

Almost three quarters of pots that have been accessed are by people under 65, typically choosing to take lump sums rather than a regular income, according to the study.

Income drawdown has also become much more popular since the so-called pension freedoms were introduced two years ago.

But people who don’t take advice are typically accepting income drawdown product from their current pension provider, rather than shopping around, according to the FCA.

Before the reforms were introduced two years ago, only five per cent of drawdown was bought without advice, compared to 30 per cent now.

The FCA warned that consumers need more support and protection to negotiate the complexities of drawdown products.

The watchdog also raised concerns that fewer people are taking out annuities since reforms.

The products can be bought with pension savings and provide a fixed income for life – but competition is under threat as the market shrinks, said the FCA.

Christopher Woolard, executive director of strategy and competition at the FCA, said: “Since the introduction of the pension freedoms, the retirement income market has changed substantially.

“This study looks at what has happened during this time, and gives us an early view of areas to keep a close eye on.

“We have identified areas where early intervention may be needed either now or further down the track to put the market on the best footing for the future.

“Ensuring this market works well will require cooperation across Government, regulators, the industry and consumer bodies.

“We will work closely with stakeholders to make sure we are clear on the actions we are best placed to lead.”

Experts said the study shows a worrying future for many people using pension freedoms.

Jon Greer, head of retirement policy at Old Mutual Wealth said: “Over half of customers are taking their retirement savings and investing in something else, like an Isa, cash, buy-to-let or fixed-term deposit.

“This can have disastrous long-term consequences.

“Taking a lump sum in a single tax year is likely to result in paying more income tax than withdrawing money gradually.

“And savers are giving up future tax-free investment growth in a pension in exchange for comparatively low-growth assets like cash, or illiquid property.

“Trust in pensions is a major issue and the regulator and the savings industry must do more to understand why some members of the public are fearful of pensions.”

Kate Smith, head of pensions at Aegon added: “The FCA’s figures suggest we’re seeing the majority of small pots accessed well before traditional retirement age with around two fifths of people either paying down debts or spending the money, with half saving or investing it.

“The trend for people to withdraw money and save it is somewhat concerning given that many be moving towards low paying cash accounts and limiting their ability to benefit from further tax relief via a pension.”

The FCA is now considering how to best protect savers during retirement.

John Perks, managing director of life and pensions at LV, said: “The pension freedoms have given retirees welcome flexibility at retirement but the regulator’s review reiterates the growing issue of people accessing their money without taking advice.

“Professional financial advice is by far the best way to ensure people are able to make the right decisions at retirement and that their income meets their needs in the long run, but too few people take it up.

“LV has repeatedly warned that without action to address this issue we will face a ‘mis-buying’ crisis of consumers making important financial choices without adequate support.

“We therefore welcome the regulator’s proposals to look closer at consumers who access drawdown without taking advice, as well as improving access to impartial guidance.”

Daily Express :: Personal Finance Feed

Trump divides France: Minister in bitter snub but Macron says he’s ‘delighted’ over visit

The put-down came despite French president Emmanuel Macron saying he was “delighted” Donald Trump was to attend adding he and his American counterpart would discuss a “range” of issues, including the thorny issues that have divided the two leaders of late, such as climate change.

Mr Macron said: “I will be seeing President Trump in a few days, and I am delighted.

“Despite our disagreements, we have several issues to discuss, including ones we are working closely together to solve, such as the fight against terrorism and the conflicts in both Syria and Libya.”

Not all French officials, however, are looking forward to meeting the hardline Republican, whose decision to pull the US out of the landmark Paris climate accord last month sparked outrage among environmental activists, including France’s newly appointed ecology minister, Nicolas Hulot.

Mr Hulot, a high-profile green campaigner, told the French radio station RTL on Monday that he “hoped” he would not have to shake Mr Trump’s hand at the Bastille Day parade, which Mr Hulot is also expected to attend.

“I will be at the Bastille Day parade, yes, but don’t ask too much of me,” the environmentalist told an RTL journalist who asked him if he would be happy to “shake Mr Trump’s hand” if the two happened to cross paths.

Mr Macron invited Mr Trump and his wife, first lady Melania Trump, to Paris to celebrate the Bastille Day festivities to commemorate 100 years since US troops entered into World War One but also to bolster ties between the two countries, saying American soldiers had fought alongside the French for “freedom” a century ago.

Terror-struck France, however, remains under a state of emergency, and this year’s July 14 parade will take place under high surveillance.

Paris police chief Michel Delpuech said on Tuesday that 11,000 troops would be deployed on the streets of Paris ahead of Friday’s festivities to guard key locations – including the Champs-Elysées avenue and the Eiffel Tower – and boost security. 

On July 14 last year, Mohamed Lahouaiej Bouhlel, a 31-year-old radical Islamist, ploughed a 19-tonne truck into a crowd of revellers celebrating Bastille Day in the southern French city of Nice, killing 85 and injuring scores more.

Daily Express :: World Feed

Michael Conforto, other MLB All-Stars pulling for Tim Tebow

Even Major League Baseball All-Stars are enjoying Tebowmania in baseball.

In a series of interviews with ESPN, some of the league’s best players revealed that they are rooting for Tebow to make it all the way up to the highest level with the Mets.

One of the most vocal about supporting Tebow is his potential teammate, Mets outfielder Michael Conforto.

“I actually was down in high-A for a rehab assignment, and I played with him. One thing I’ll say about him is he always takes good at-bats,” Conforto said. “He’s got a good eye, he doesn’t chase, and I think really that’s half the battle in the game of baseball as far as being a good hitter.”

How Mets OF Michael Conforto reinvented himself into an All-Star

The Mets outfielder said he was impressed with how Tebow has been in the minors so far and believes that the former quarterback genuinely wants to play baseball.

When asked if he thinks Tebow will make his way to Citi Field in September, Conforto said anything is possible.

Michael Conforto praised Tebow as a hitter, saying he has a good eye and doesn’t chase pitches.

Michael Conforto praised Tebow as a hitter, saying he has a good eye and doesn’t chase pitches.

(Lynne Sladky/AP)

“He’s still got a long way to go, but I think I’ve seen a lot of improvement out of him. From spring to the one day I got to see him when I went down on Thursday (July 6), he looks like a much better player already,” Conforto said. “If he just keeps getting better, who knows?”

Tigers pitcher Michael Fulmer, who was once in the Mets farm system before being traded in the deal for Yoenis Cespedes in 2015, said he’s been getting updates on Tebow’s progress through what he sees on Twitter. Fulmer believes the minor leaguer is going a good job.

Mets’ Michael Conforto reunites with old friend at All-Star Game

“I see a lot of stuff on social media about it. I think it’s awesome what he’s doing. Obviously, he got promoted to St. Lucie, and knowing some of the coaching staff that are working with him, he’s in good hands,” Fulmer told ESPN.

Tebow is currently batting .318 with two home runs and nine RBIs in his first 14 games in St. Lucie. To make it, the Heisman Trophy winner will have to continue to hit and have success throughout each level of the minors.

Rockies third baseman Nolan Arenado said he doesn’t want to see Tebow fail and said he definitely will watch Tebow if he makes all the way up to the Mets.

“Heck yeah, I’ll watch him. I hope he goes deep four times in his first game, too.”

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Christina Milian and Karrueche Tran Eat Burgers in Their Bikinis

Christina Milian & Karrueche TranHot Chicks Eating Burgers in Bikinis… Better Late Than Never

7/12/2017 7:30 AM PDT

Christina Milian and Karrueche Tran are a little late to get on the “hot babes eating burgers” train … but that doesn’t mean we don’t appreciate the effort.

Christina and Karrueche got their bikinis on and hit the beach Tuesday in Miami, where at first they got all wet … and then dried off and chowed down on some cow.

Their burger bikini fest wasn’t for any type of Carl’s Jr. commercial — in fact, the company ditched that whole concept earlier this year … sad as it may be.

Still … it’s good to see an homage here to the good ol’ days — intended or not.

Don’t bother them, they’re eating.


TMZ.com

The 10 most expensive hotel suites in the world revealed

  • Private jet lifestyle magazine Elite Traveler has announced the Top 100 Suites in the World for the 16th edition
  • United States has the greatest number with 24 suites, followed by ten suites in the UK and nine in France
  • One suite at the Grand Hyatt Cannes Hotel Martinez in France occupies a staggering 17,975-sq-ft of space

International travel has never been more accessible. From budget airlines to pay-per-hour sleep tanks, globe-trotting no longer needs to break the bank.

But, at the other end of the scale, luxury jet-setting has never been so expensive – as Elite Traveler has proved with their annual guide of the world’s Top 100 Suites.

Released this week, the latest run-down has ranked the globe’s most extraordinary places to stay in a definitive chart. From secluded islands in the tropics to some of the world’s most exciting cities, no stone has been left un-turned.

Read on to discover what makes these suites the priciest in the world…

1) Royal Penthouse Suite at Hotel President Wilson, Geneva £62,000 per night ($ 80,000)

Lap of luxury: Spanning a massive 18,000-sq-ft, the Royal Penthouse Suite at Hotel President Wilson boasts panoramic views overlooking the Alps and is believed to be the best hotel suite, anywhere

Lap of luxury: Spanning a massive 18,000-sq-ft, the Royal Penthouse Suite at Hotel President Wilson boasts panoramic views overlooking the Alps and is believed to be the best hotel suite, anywhere

A favorite among heads-of-states and celebrities such as Richard Branson, Rihanna and Bill Gates, the 12-bedroom penthouse, on Lake Geneva, covers the entire eighth floor of the hotel. 

Spanning a massive 18,000-sq-ft, it boasts panoramic views overlooking the Alps and is believed to be the best hotel suite, anywhere in the world. 

As well as a personal chef, butler and security team, perfumes emanate from the wardrobes of the 12 bedrooms – each with an en-suite bathroom – and guests can either play billiards or have a tinkle on the Steinway grand piano for entertainment.

And after a hard day seeing the sights of the the Swiss capital they can relax with the Bang & Olufsen BeoVision flat-screen TV and audio installation – or simply just admire their sumptuous surroundings. 

2) Maharajah Pavilion at Raj Palace, Jaipur, India – £50,000 per night ($ 65,000)

Get saving! The four-floor, 16,000-sq-ft apartment at the Raj Palace, Jaipur, is perhaps unsurprisingly the largest suite in Asia and was once the home of the maharajah

Get saving! The four-floor, 16,000-sq-ft apartment at the Raj Palace, Jaipur, is perhaps unsurprisingly the largest suite in Asia and was once the home of the maharajah

Compared to Geneva’s President Wilson, the Maharajah Pavilion at India’s Raj Palace is practically a bargain – if you happen to have a spare £50,000 in your bank account.

The four-floor, 16,000-sq-ft apartment is, perhaps unsurprisingly, the largest in Asia and was once the home of the maharajah. 

Think gold leaf décor and mirror walls, as well as gold and silver furniture, a Jacuzzi and a swimming pool.

One of the most impressive rooms is the double-height reception room, with a giant chandelier, topped off with lashings of red velvet. Fit for a king, you might say. 

3) Ty Warner Penthouse at Four Seasons, New York – £38,000 per night ($ 50,000)

Now that's a view: Soaring 500 feet  above Manhattan, guests of the Ty Warner Penthouse enjoy panoramic views of Manhattan from the suite’s four cantilevered glass balconies, the highest in the world

Now that’s a view: Soaring 500 feet above Manhattan, guests of the Ty Warner Penthouse enjoy panoramic views of Manhattan from the suite’s four cantilevered glass balconies, the highest in the world

If you’re planning a trip to the Big Apple, you may as well stay in a big suite. And this is it. 

Soaring 500 feet above Manhattan, guests of the Ty Warner Penthouse enjoy panoramic views of Manhattan from the suite’s four cantilevered glass balconies, the highest in the world.

A chauffeured Rolls-Royce; dedicated Guest Relations Manager; and massages are also at your disposal. This one-of-a-kind suite truly is the crown jewel in NYC’s ultimate luxury hotel.

The Ty Warner Penthouse is a one-bedroom accommodation. Should a second bedroom be required, the suite’s private spa can be converted to a second bedroom, upon request.

4) Hilltop Villa at Laucala Island, Fiji – £34,000  per night ($ 45,000)

Private and confidential: The hilltop residence in Fiji is billed as ‘a resort within a resort’, offering rooms for six guests

Private and confidential: The hilltop residence in Fiji is billed as ‘a resort within a resort’, offering rooms for six guests

Set up high on a green hill on an island owned by Red Bull co-founder Dietrick Mateschitz, the hilltop residence is billed as ‘a resort within a resort’, offering rooms for six guests when the business mogul isn’t staying there.

It is the crown jewel of nearly two dozen luxury villas, boasting panoramic views of the island and sea, nearly 120,000 square feet of bedroom space, a private cook, chauffeur and nanny, and access to a private airstrip.

When it’s time to leave the comforts of this temporary home away from home, guests can retreat to a golf course, hike to waterfalls, go diving in the sea or learn how to ride a horse at an on-site training facility.

Those who choose to pamper themselves at the spa can pick their own spices, herbs, flowers and fruits, and create an oil, soap or lotion to their liking. 

5) Five-bedroom Terrace Suite at The Mark, New York – £34,000 per night ($ 45,000)

Big apple of our eye: The cavernous suite has five bedrooms, six bathrooms, a stately dining room that can seat 24 people, and a 2,500-sq-ft rooftop terrace with breathtaking views of the city’s skyline and Central Park

Big apple of our eye: The cavernous suite has five bedrooms, six bathrooms, a stately dining room that can seat 24 people, and a 2,500-sq-ft rooftop terrace with breathtaking views of the city’s skyline and Central Park

Set in New York’s Upper East Side, The Mark Hotel’s 12,000-sq-ft penthouse is sheer extravagance.

The cavernous suite has five bedrooms, six bathrooms, a stately dining room that can seat 24 people, and a 2,500 square foot rooftop terrace with breathtaking views of the city’s skyline and Central Park. 

Billed as a ‘castle in the sky’, the palatial space is more like a grand residence than a hotel suite, covering the top two floors of a 1927 landmark building. 

Designed by French interior designer Jacques Grange, the suite boasts a private lift and a living room that can be converted into a full-size grand ballroom with 26-ft high ceilings and a grand piano. 

6) Penthouse Suite at Grand Hyatt Cannes, Martinez, France – £31,000 per night ($ 41,930)

Celeb fave: Eva Longoria, Bruce Willis and Robert Pattinson have all stayed in the famous suite during the Cannes Film Festival

Celeb fave: Eva Longoria, Bruce Willis and Robert Pattinson have all stayed in the famous suite during the Cannes Film Festival

Situated on the seventh floor of the Grand Hyatt Cannes Hotel Martinez, the penthouse suite measures 300-sq-ft and features four bedrooms.

As well as a living room, dining room and marble bathroom, guests can enjoy a large private terrace that looks out over the Bay of Cannes and the famous Boulevard de la Croisette.

There is also artworks by Picasso, a personal butler service, as well as the use of a jacuzzi and a hammam.

Eva Longoria, Bruce Willis, and Robert Pattinson have all stayed in the famous suite during the annual Cannes Film Festival. 

7) Penthouse Suite at Hotel Cala di Volpe, Sardinia, Italy – £31,000 per night ($ 41,177)

House-sized: The Penthouse Suite at Hotel Cala di Volpe, Sardinia, can comfortably host up to nine people

House-sized: The Penthouse Suite at Hotel Cala di Volpe, Sardinia, can comfortably host up to nine people

Porto Cervo is a playground for the rich and famous, but one penthouse suite sits head and shoulders above the rest at the Hotel Cala Di Volpe.

For £31,000 a night, guests can enjoy the three-bedroomed luxury, with sweeping views of the azure coastline.

The room also comes with a solarium, a fitness area and a private swimming pool with a large terracotta-tiled terrace. 

8) Suite 5000 at Mandarin Oriental, New York – £27,800 per night ($ 36,000)

Glamour: Suite 5000 at Mandarin Oriental, New York, drips style and is one of the city's most popular hideaways 

Glamour: Suite 5000 at Mandarin Oriental, New York, drips style and is one of the city’s most popular hideaways 

As the name might suggest, Suite 5000 offers luxury at every turn.

From the light-reflecting Swarovski crystal wall to the floor-to-ceiling windows with Manhattan skyline views to the artistic portraits and sculptures adorning the space, which you can buy with the push of an iPad button. 

Not to mention, the suite is the only one in the world to partner with Dior to offer the exclusive Dior Cabine fashion experience. 

Just say the word, and the staff will haul in the latest collection for you to peruse in privacy and comfort.

9) The Two-story Sky Villa at Palms Casino Resort, Las Vegas – £27,000 per night ($ 35,000)

Ker-ching! This features a glass-enclosed cantilevered pool, private terraces, fitness rooms and 24-hour butler service

Ker-ching! This features a glass-enclosed cantilevered pool, private terraces, fitness rooms and 24-hour butler service

Complete with a personal glass elevator, this 9,000-sq-ft palace welcomes you to a world of splendor. 

The Two Story Sky Villa is the highest of high-class featuring jaw-dropping highlights such as a glass-enclosed cantilevered pool, private terraces, massage and fitness rooms and 24-hour butler service. 

For your money you’ll get two king and two double queen beds, plus a living room, dining room, two salon suites and 5.5 Bathrooms. 

10) The Royal Suite at Hôtel Plaza Athénée, Paris, France – £23,000 per night ($ 30,745)

Location, location, location: Situated in the heart of Haute Couture, on the renowned avenue Montaigne,this suite has some of the most magnificent views of the French capital

Location, location, location: Situated in the heart of Haute Couture, on the renowned avenue Montaigne,this suite has some of the most magnificent views of the French capital

Lavishly decorated with French Regency furniture, stunning antiques and touches of silk and damask, the suite speaks to the city’s history and beauty.  

The expansive suite has four bedrooms and four bathrooms, in addition to a luxurious sitting room, dining room and kitchen, making it ideal for families.

From the balconies, you’ll enjoy stunning views of avenue Montaigne and the Eiffel Tower.

When booking a signature suite, stay includes round trip local airport/main line train station transfers, bottle of Krug champagne and complimentary Wi-Fi.  

THE TOP 10 LARGEST SUITES

· Penthouse Suite at Grand Hyatt Cannes Hôtel, Martinez, France – 17,975 sq ft

· Royal Suite at Waldorf Astoria Dubai Palm Jumeirah, UAE – 16,867 sq ft

· Maharajah Pavilion at Raj Palace, Jaipur, India – 16,000 sq ft

· Amanyara Villa at Amanyara, Providenciales, Turks and Caicos – 14,450 sq ft

· Two-story Sky Villa at Palms Casino Resort, Las Vegas, USA – 9,000 sq ft

· Presidential Suite at Mandarin Oriental Pudong, Shanghai, China – 8,482 sq ft

· Presidential Villa at Royal Begonia, Sanya, China – 7,180 sq ft

· The Royal Villa at Grand resort Lagonissi, Greece – 6,458 sq ft

· Villa Rose Pierre at Grand-hôtel du Cap-Ferrat, France – 5,920 sq ft

· Summit View Penthouse at Montage Deer Valley, USA – 5,300 sq ft

Source: Elite Traveller 

New York airport employees temporarily halt strike

Several hundred workers at New York’s three main airports suspended their strike Wednesday, as labor leaders head back to the negotiating table.

“With strikes looming at Newark, LaGuardia, JFK and Philadelphia International airports, American Airlines and 32BJ SEIU have entered into last minute discussions,” Rob Hill, vice president of 32BJ Service Employees International Union, said in a statement. “While the strike is suspended as negotiations get underway, the airport workers are ready to go back on strike should talks fall apart.”

The 700 employees — which include wheelchair attendents, skycaps and cabin cleaners — work at JFK, LaGuardia and Newark Airports.

The workers walked off the job Tuesday night amid an ongoing dispute with employer PrimeFlight Inc.

JFK, LaGuardia, Newark airport employees declare strike

Picketing, which began Tuesday night, was suspended as labor leaders renegotiated.

Picketing, which began Tuesday night, was suspended as labor leaders renegotiated.

(Angus Mordant/for New York Daily News)

The company is subcontracted with several airlines at the New York-area airports.

Workers were set to start picketing at a section of LaGuardia’s Terminal B starting at 6 a.m. Wednesday.

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Trump fine to testify about his son’s Russia meeting: lawyer

President Trump knew nothing about his son’s secret meeting with a Russian lawyer last year and would be fine with testifying about it, his lawyer said Wednesday.

“I’m not worried about the President testifying on anything here,” attorney Jay Sekulow said on ABC News’ “Good Morning America,” during a series of TV interviews defending his Oval Office client.

Donald Trump Jr. has already said he would be willing to testify before the Senate, though no plans have been set.

Sekulow insisted that Trump never knew about his eldest son orchestrating a Trump Tower meeting last year with a Kremlin-connected lawyer who promised dirt on Hillary Clinton. After days of scrutiny, Trump Jr. on Tuesday tweeted emails from June 2016 showing that he was told the meeting would be part of the Russian government’s ploy to help his father win the election.

Trump Jr. knew Hillary Clinton dirt came from Russian government

President Trump’s attorney Jay Sekulow.

(Steve Helber/AP)

President Trump.

President Trump.

(MARKUS SCHREIBER/AFP/Getty Images)

President Trump’s attorney Jay Sekulow (left) says his client never knew about the meeting or emails.

Sekulow said Trump saw those emails at the same time as the rest of the world — when his son suddenly posted them on Twitter.

“To put this in the President’s lap is really inappropriate,” Sekulow said.

Sekulow argued that Trump Jr. broke no law in accepting the meeting or in any of his behavior with the lawyer, who allegedly turned out to have no information for the campaign.

Legal experts are not so sure, with some suggesting Trump Jr. — as well as former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort and Donald Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner, who also joined the meeting — may have violated federal campaign laws against soliciting information from foreign nationals.

Music promoter with Russia ties says he arranged Trump meeting

President Trump tweeted Wednesday morning that his son was “open, transparent and innocent.”

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Ready for war – Moment US destroys missile using THAAD as North Korea threat rises

As tensions heat up on the international stage, this new dramatic footage shows how the US would intercept an intermediate-range ballistic missile, (IRBM) similar to North Korea’s.

Released by the US Missile Defence Agency (MDA) the drill shows an IRBM fired from a US Air Force C-17 cargo plane over the Pacific Ocean, near Hawaii. 

The THAAD was launched at Pacific Spaceport Complex on Kodiak Island, Alaska, and photos released by the MDA show the target being destroyed. 

Hailing the success, the MDA said: “The successful demonstration of THAAD against an IRBM-range missile threat bolsters the country’s defensive capability against developing missile threats in North Korea and other countries around the globe and contributes to the broader strategic deterrence architecture.”

And the makers of THAAD, Lockheed Martin, went further, praising the system saying Tuesday’s launch was the “14th successful intercept in 14 attempts” since 2005.

The system has also been deployed to South Korea in a bid to counter aggression from North Korea, and also as an operational defence as their nuclear capabilities seemingly increase. 

China, the powerhouse in the region, repeatedly voiced its concerns over THAAD which was due to be up and running this summer. 

In early March, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson, Geng Shuang, said: “Our position on THAAD is very clear. 

“We are firmly opposed to the deployment of THAAD. This position is very firm.”

Defending the deployment, Major Jennifer Lovett, of US Forces Korea Public Affairs, previously said: “THAAD will contribute to a layered missile defence by significantly enhancing Alliance missile defence capabilities against North Korea missile threats.”

But plans have stalled after the new South Korean government moved to suspend the controversial deployment. 

Elected last month, Moon Jae-in, has put brakes on the plans claiming the system would be halted until an environmental impact assessment is finished.

Cheong Wa De, a senior official in the new government, said: “We are not saying the two launchers and other equipment that has already been deployed should be withdrawn. 

“But those that have yet to be deployed will have to wait.”

Daily Express :: World Feed

Thunder fans greet Paul George with raucous welcome at airport

Thunder fans gave Paul George a sterling first impression Tuesday upon the NBA star’s arrival to Oklahoma City.

George, who was traded to OKC last week after completing his seventh season with the Pacers, was greeted by a throng of supporters who crowded an airport to welcome the team’s new forward.

The four-time All-Star expressed his gratitude by high-fiving fans and sticking around under the hot sun to take pictures.

George was the subject of trade rumors at the beginning of the offseason, as speculation swirled that he’d end up in his hometown of Los Angeles with the Lakers. He becomes a free agent in 2018, so the option to join the Lakers will be on the table after the upcoming season.

Paul George hints he could re-sign with OKC as free agent in 2018

Paul George got an exceptionally warm welcome to Oklahoma City on Tuesday.

Paul George got an exceptionally warm welcome to Oklahoma City on Tuesday.

(NBA Center via YouTube)

However, George told Sports Illustrated that if he and MVP teammate Russell Westbrook find success he would have no problem re-signing with OKC.

“If we get a killer season in Oklahoma, we make the conference finals or upset the Warriors or do something crazy, I’d be dumb to want to leave that,” he said.

Thunder fans certainly agree, but they also proved to have no issue waiting in the heat to strengthen their team’s case.

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Blake Griffin Double Dates with New Clipper & Smokin' Hot WAGS

Blake GriffinDouble Dates with New Clipper… Smokin’ Hot WAGS

7/12/2017 6:33 AM PDT

Blake Griffin rolled out the welcome wagon for one of his new Clippers teammates last night — taking Sam Dekker and his ridiculously attractive fiancee to a fancy dinner in Bev Hills.

BG and his girlfriend/baby mama, Brynn Cameron, hit up Georgio Baldi with Dekker and his fiancee Olivia Harlan early Tuesday evening before attending a Players’ Tribune party.

Dekker was drafted by the Houston Rockets but became a Clipper as part of the Chris Paul deal. 

Welcome to L.A.


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