Los Angeles Clippers forward Paul George admits he was dealing with depression and anxiety and that contributed to his poor performances in several games against the Dallas Mavericks. George shot 4-of-17 in Game 2, 3-of-16 in Game 3 and 3-of-14 in Game 4 before he scored 35 points in Game 5 after shooting 12-of-18 from the field.
“It was just a little bit of everything," George said, per ESPN. “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 admits he talked with a team psychiatrist, hoping he would feel better. “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."
George gives credit to his teammates
Clippers players were there for George — the forward responded with scoring 35 points in Game 5 — and the Clippers now lead 3-2 against the Mavericks.
“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."