Paul George says he was in ‘dark place’ with ‘anxiety, depression’ in NBA bubble
What helped him? “The positivity of my teammates, my family, my friends, everybody," he said. "Thanks, everybody that reached out to me."
The unusual circumstance of its NBA bubble was put in place to protect its valued athletes, coaches and team officials from COVID-19. However, the isolated experience has begun to wear on some players.
“The bubble got the best of me,” Los Angeles Clippers star guard-forward Paul George told reporters. “I was just in a dark place. I really wasn’t here, I checked out. These past couple of games, it was just difficult. But shout out to the people that stood behind me, that were in my corner.”
“The positivity of my teammates, my family, my friends, everybody,” he continued. “Thanks, everybody that reached out to me. I was just in a bad place. But I found my way. I’m back, and I look forward to the rest of this run.”
The comments came after George had two games where he made only 10 out of 47 attempted shots from the field. The performance was the worst in his NBA playoff history.
Still, George was able to overcome his slump and help his team defeat the Dallas Mavericks.
The bubble is located at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex, in Florida’s Bay Lake, and players are isolated to nearby hotels under strict quarantine protocols.
George said that he “underestimated mental health, honestly. I had anxiety. A little bit of depression. Just being locked in here. I just wasn’t there.”
Explaining his dismal performance, he said, “I checked out.”
George said that his teammates and Coach Doc Rivers encouraged him and got him back into better spirits. “They helped big time, helped get me right, [get] me back in great spirits. I can’t thank them enough.”
He has also been meeting with the team’s psychiatrist. After those sessions, he said, “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.”
Unfortunately, George is not the only L.A. Clipper dealing with depression. The team’s Montrezl Harrell lost his grandmother during the post-season.
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