Los Angeles Clippers star Paul George has heard all the criticism regarding this play last season in the Orlando, Florida bubble, and is trying to silence his doubters this season, even if that criticism is coming from players.
George fueled the Clippers by pouring in 39 points to beat a hot Phoenix Suns team on Sunday, 112-107, in a game that saw George get into an exchange with Suns guards Chris Paul and Devin Booker that led to technical fouls during the fourth quarter.
“You got to ask them,” George said, according to ESPN’s Ohm Youngmisuk. “I was talking to the ref, CP jumped in and it escalated from there. Like I said, I’ve never had any words talking, there was never any altercation, there was always peace when I am on the floor, but for whatever reason, there’s a lot of chirping and people just living in the past.
“Last year was last year. I’m in a new situation; I am in a different mindset. Any of that hate stuff, you got to ask them. I don’t know where that’s coming from.”
George specifically addressed his struggles from last season, and the comments that questioned his game.
“I had a tough year last year,” George said. “People think it’s sweet, man, people think it’s sweet because I was down. I didn’t hear none of this my 10 years in the league but last year, people living on that last year. And I got to answer that. And I am ready to compete. I’m back.”
George admitted that the criticism fueled him this offseason and has played a role in his strong start this season.
“Absolutely,” George said. “And it’s the reason I came into this year focused. I heard all the noise and I use all that noise for motivation.”
“I don’t talk, I play my game,” George said. “For whatever reason, it’s dudes talking. Like, never heard people talking [before], and it’s never been directed towards me but for some reason it’s a lot of mouth. And it’s fine. I got to play up to that.
“I’ll go through the fire. It’s fine. As long as we come out on top, we win and I am helping my team win. That’s all that matters. Save the rest, they can do what they want. I’m locked in and it’s more so about me being at peace and at ease.”