We’re living in dark times.
Nearly everyone has been affected by the pandemic in some way and the racial injustices throughout the country can wreak even more havoc on your psyche. And that constant battle isn’t lost on those who are financially well off and doing what they love for a living– just ask Paul George.
George has earned the nickname Playoff P for draining buckets when it comes to the postseason, but he just couldn’t seem to get into his groove within the NBA Bubble. He was… bad.
Twitter relentlessly ridiculed him as he shot just 10-for-47 in Games 2, 3, and 4, which included missing 21 of 25 taken 3-pointers. It was so abysmal that his under 25% shooting in three playoff games hasn’t been seen since Bob Cousy in 1960.
But that all changed in game 5 when he dropped 35 points to put the Clippers up 3-2 games in a 154-111 blowout win. After the impressive performance, he spoke to the press about the slump.
“It was just a little bit of everything. I underestimated mental health, honestly. I had anxiety. A little bit of depression. Just being locked in here. I just wasn’t there. I checked out,” George admitted about what led to his poor play. “Games 2, 3, 4, I wasn’t there. I felt like I wasn’t there. Shout-out to the people that were in my corner, that gave me words. They helped big time, help get me right, [get] me back in great spirits. I can’t thank them enough.”
He went on to explain that the Bubble started to get to him, and constantly being there without much interaction with people outside of the sport made it hard to disconnect. But it was ultimately his team and family who helped him out.
“I just got to find what’s going to get me able to check out of the game and check out of just constantly being in that mode. All my guys helped. I’ve been around them. We’ve been out playing the game. Great talk with Doc. Again, all my family were there. My girl, Gracie, my kids, just so many people that I can name that I’ve talked to in the past 24 hours that had a helping hand in just getting me into a better spirit again.”
Head coach Doc Rivers let George that it’s okay to be mentally off, because of the extraordinary circumstances they’re playing under.
“This is not a normal environment, OK?” Rivers told ESPN Tuesday after the game. “It just isn’t.
“PG and I sat in my room after the game. We just had a long talk, not all about basketball, really. Several players did it. Guys were knocking on his door.
Now we Playoff P doing better, expect the Clippers to finish off the Dallas Mavericks Thursday night.
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