Paul George didn’t look like himself for the past week. While the world thought it was just poor play on the basketball court, it was actually much more.
George was incredibly candid during his postgame interview with the media after the Game 5 win against the Dallas Mavericks. As George was shooting 10/47 from the field during Games 2,3,4, he revealed after Game 5 it was due to dealing with depression and anxiety.
While the bubble has figured out a way to allow players to successfully return to basketball, there’s also no escape from it. After the game ends, there’s no real escape from the game. There’s no family members, nowhere to go out, just your teammates, and other basketball players.
“It’s tough, it’s just really hard being in here,” George said. “It’s not easy. All-day it’s just basketball, it’s hard to get away from it. Shout out to the NBA for creating this environment, but at the same time, it’s rough.”
The situation became so bad that George mentioned that he saw the team psychiatrist. One of the things he appreciated most though, was the support of his teammates. Doc Rivers stated that he had a long talk with Paul George after Game 4, and that several other teammates did the same. Montrezl Harrell reached out to George by playing video games with him. These are the types of gestures George will forever be grateful for.
“Everybody reached out, whether it was in person, through a text,” George said. “All of my guys showed up for me. They helped me. They were there when I needed them. I’m indebted to this team. The energy, the synergy, the camaraderie, the brotherhood. I can’t thank this squad enough.”
The situation George faces is one many other NBA players are likely facing in the bubble. Mental health has become a legitimate issue, and fortunately, George seems to have found his way. With the help of his teammates, family, and the team psychiatrist, George seems to have found himself again.
“I’m ready to move forward.”