April 03, 2012; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Indiana Pacers small forward Danny Granger (33) and shooting guard Paul George (24) celebrate during the game against the New York Knicks at Bankers Life Fieldhouse. Indiana defeated New York 112-104. Mandatory credit: Michael Hickey-USA TODAY Sports

Indiana Pacers: Danny Granger To Relinquish Franchise-Player Title To Paul George

After being out of action for almost nine months with a knee tendon injury, All-Star Danny Granger is back with the Indiana Pacers and ready to help the team make a strong push towards the NBA Playoffs.

A lot changed while Danny was recovering from his injuries. Pacers forward Paul George has taken over as the go-to guy on offense, being named to his first Eastern Conference All-Star team in the process.

Indiana currently owns a record of 36-21, which is first in the Central Division (four games ahead of the Chicago Bulls) and second in the East (six games back of the Miami Heat).

George is averaging career-highs in points (17.6), rebounds (7.9), assists (4.0), steals (1.8) and blocks (0.7). He’s also shooting a stellar 38.2% from behind-the-arc.

With Paul taking on a much larger and more important role in the team’s game plan, Danny has decided to put any ego he has to the side, and drop his status as the “franchise-player” to George.

“I think the biggest deal about it is the assumptions since I was coming back that there’d be a competition between us, when it’s actually the opposite,” Granger said. “The way he can break defenses down, the way he can create, I can just stand, catch and shoot, drive – it makes my job easier. He’s coming in at such a young age – he’s 22 now – I’m going to be 30 in a month and a half.

“I have no problem – I’ve been in the league eight years – I have no problem passing the mantle to him, to leave the team to Roy (Hibbert) and George.

“My whole team I watched get drafted. I’ve watched all of them grow. So I have no problem passing the mantle. At all.” (RealGM)

Chris Walder is the Editor of Sir Charles in Charge. You may follow him on Twitter at @WalderSports

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Tags: Danny Granger Indiana Pacers Paul George Roy Hibbert

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