Paul George is playing with some motivation early in the NBA season. He has heard a lot of negative comments about his game during the shortened offseason. After his performance in the NBA Bubble during the summer, some of those comments were warranted. The Los Angeles Clippers forward didn’t play well when they needed him most.
It looks like George is growing tired of the talk. After his game against the Phoenix Suns, where he was in a verbal altercation, PG-13 reminded his NBA counterparts that things are different. He also reminded everyone that it’s not as sweet as people think it is out when talking to him.
Paul George gets into an argument with Devin Booker
The Clippers were in a close game with the Suns. With about seven minutes left in the contest, Paul George was fouled on a shot by Cameron Payne. George said he was trying to talk with officials about the call when Suns guard Devin Booker walked up and said something to George. Whatever Booker said didn’t sit well with PG-13, as he had to be held back by referees and teammates so he couldn’t confront Booker.
The altercation resulted in a double technical for Booker and George. After the tension subsided, George scored five points and had a pivotal assist to Nicholas Batum to close the game. The Clippers won 112-107, and George was their leading scorer with 39 points. George offered his side of the story post-game, saying he was trying to talk to a referee.
“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,” George said per ESPN.
The chirping George is referring to isn’t something he appreciates very much. With his bubble performance continuing to be talking points on the court, George let his colleagues and others know that the talk is motivation. He also wants to remind everyone that this year is a new year, so stop living in the past.
Paul George is tired of NBA players “chirping”
It is no secret that Paul George did not play well in the NBA bubble. He struggled mightily, playing like a shell of himself. When the playoffs began, George’s struggles continued. It seems like those struggles are being brought up in conversations with George on the floor. PG-13 hears it and is done dealing with it.
“I had a tough year last year. 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,” George said per ESPN.
George also added that the criticism he heard about his game during the offseason was motivation for him coming into this season. “It’s the reason I came into this year focused. I heard all the noise, and I use all that noise for motivation,” said George. All PG-13 does is focus on his game and helping his team win.
“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 toward me, but for some reason, it’s a lot of mouth. And it’s fine. I got to play up to that, said George. He has played above the talk, having a great start to the season.
Paul George is off to a great start this NBA season
The motivation he gets from all the negative remarks about his time in the bubble seems to be working. Paul George is off to a hot start this season, being the stabilizer for the Clippers. Seven games is a limited sample size, but George has been playing exceptionally well. He is currently averaging 25.1 points per game, leading the Clippers in that category.
What is more impressive about PG-13’s start is his shooting. He currently shoots 50.8% from the floor and 49.8% from 3-point range. Those are both career highs. To put his hot shooting into perspective, he is the third different player to sink 30 3-pointers in his team’s first seven games in NBA history, per ESPN. He has scored 23 points or more in five out of seven games this season.
This season is a big one for George and the Clippers. After inking a four-year, $190 million extension this offseason, George is in LA for the foreseeable future. However, Kawhi Leonard has a player option after this season. If the Clippers want the Klaw to stay in LA, they need to exceed expectations this season. George heard the message and is responding early with a great start to his season.
The talk will always be there for George, but he is tired of it coming from his NBA counterparts. He is ready to hush all that talk with his play, and he is doing that so far this season. “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,” said George.
All stats courtesy of ESPN