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Clippers’ Paul George Talks Dealing with Depression, Anxiety During NBA Bubble



Paul George

Los Angeles Clippers forward Paul George says that he had to deal with depression and anxiety while in the NBA bubble, following a big 35-point performance during the Game 5 blowout victory over the Dallas Mavericks.

The Clippers took a 3-2 series lead over the Mavericks with the win.

George spoke about being “in a dark place” during his walk-off interview with TNT.

“It was just a little bit of everything,” George said, according ESPN’s Ohm Youngmisuk. “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.

“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.”

George talk about feeling better on the day of Game 5 after seeking some help.

“I mean, I felt it just [at] the start [on Tuesday],” George said. “Talks with a psychiatrist, our team psychiatrist. I mean, I just felt it. My energy, my spirit was changed. That’s all it needed. That’s all I needed. I came here, I knew what my job was. Left it all on that court. Ready to move forward.”

“This is not a normal environment, OK?” Clippers head coach Doc Rivers said 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.”

“We just wanted to get him out of that,” Clippers forward Montrezl Harrell said of George. “Get him out of his room, just play video games, just constantly be around him to show him that we’re here with him. I think that did a great job for him because he went out and played carefree basketball.

“That’s the best PG that we can ever have. We don’t want him thinking and inside his head because he’s already a great player. A lot of people are talking about him and saying the things about him because of his caliber of play. They know who he is. It’s a blessing and a curse at the same time.”

George’s teammates, including Kawhi Leonard, have been defending George and expressing their unwavering confidence in the All-Star forward.

“It meant a lot,” George said of the show of support from his teammates. “… This is really hard being in here. It’s not easy. All day, it’s just basketball. It’s hard to get away from it. You see guys on other teams. Shout-out to the NBA for creating this environment, but at the same time, it’s rough.

“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.”

Anthony DiMoro is the creator of Sports Rants and the CEO of Elite Rank Media. He is a former Contributor for Forbes and the Huffington Post where he covered sports, social media, and SEO. Anthony formerly hosted the 'Forbes SportsMoney Podcast'.