There was no need to put on shoes, let alone socks. That took too long and meant less time honing his basketball skills.

“Put some shoes on your feet before going outside,” his parents, Paul and Paulette George constantly told him.

Indiana Pacers swingman Paul George wasn’t hearing it. His parents’ comments fell on deaf ears. He didn’t care how ugly his feet were from playing basketball shoeless.

Not even the nail that became stuck in the heel of his foot stopped him from rushing outside to play basketball at 9 a.m. He would often stay out until the street lights came on at night.

“I remember looking at him weird thinking he was out of his mind,” George’s older sister, Teiosha, said. “But he always had the competitive mind frame. He wanted to be a step ahead of everyone else.”

Whatever it takes.