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September 29, 2019

Paul George

Montrezl Harrell

Los Angeles, California

Q. Paul, there has been so much talk about the great expectations of this team, where you wanting to go. Can you talk about the pitfalls out there that you have to be aware of so you can get past them to get where you want to be?
PAUL GEORGE: I think good thing about my career and being where I'm at now is I've been a part of teams that we built something in the locker room, we built that brotherhood. We didn't allow outside noise. We didn't allow media. We didn't allow anything to break us apart.

I sense that with this group here, how well and tight knit we are already. I think that's most important, that we keep everything in house. Whether we got ups, downs, everything is even keel, everything is where everybody is on the same page.

You know, we go out as one. If we maintain that, we're going to get through anything.

Q. Paul, it's one thing to know you're coming home and it finally have come to fruition. Has there been any surreal moments where you wake up and you're like, I'm home for good?
PAUL GEORGE: The fact that I'm unpacking instead of packing at this time is a surreal moment. I mean, every day. Every day I'm here, every day I am waking up in the morning, every day I'm taking a drive on the 405 is a surreal moment.

You know, ultimately what I wanted to get to in my career is being back home, close to my people, so it's never going to get old from me coming in today on media day here, putting on this jersey, to the first game, to hearing my name in the starting lineup. Everything is going to be a reminder of where I'm at right now.

Q. For Paul, update on your status, your health, and where you think you may be able to take part on this team. Coming back from a previous injury, does that inform how you rehab your shoulders this time?
PAUL GEORGE: Yeah, as far as my health, I'm pretty good. I'll be in camp starting this week. Nothing contact, but all the scripted stuff I'll be a part of.

In terms of being -- like I'm used to being in this rehab stage and knowing what it takes to get my body prepared and get my body up to speed. It's a long process, but, again, I think me going through it and having a drastic injury in my leg, I know what to expect. I know what pressures to put on myself and what pressure not to put on myself as well.

It comes with a lot of stress when you're going through rehab. I'm just in a good place. I know what I need to do, what I'm capable of, and ultimately I know when my body is ready.

Q. Trez, you're coming off an incredible season. You and Lou really had something special there going.
MONTREZL HARRELL: I forgot I was up here.

Q. You are up here. Just following you on social media, you haven't had an off-season. You've been playing a lot of basketball. Anything that you've been working on as you get ready for this upcoming season?
MONTREZL HARRELL: Everything really. Definitely improving my offensive game, counters and stuff like that. You know, when they ultimately play me go to take away my right hand, so there is just different things like that.

Shooting the ball from aspects of the floor, midrange all the way out to the three-point line.

And definitely just improving on awareness, foot speed, lateral movement. So just being able to rotate, make some extra defensive plays, things like that.

As far as off-season, you're right, I didn't really take off. I constantly stay around the game of basketball because I am blessed to be able to play it. I call it my job, so I look at getting better as the ultimate thing all summer for me.

Q. What I really want to know is how many new sneakers did you get?
MONTREZL HARRELL: A lot. Yeah, a lot. I can't put a number on that, but definitely a lot. Most definitely.

Q. Paul, what did you make of the trend where there are teams that have duos? How do you think that might affect the dynamic?
PAUL GEORGE: I mean, I think what Boston did was special, I think what Miami did was special, but I think it goes back to you have two guys that are, you know, the guys, and then you have a group around them that supports them to the highest level.

That foundation is around a lot of guys in this league. You look at Milwaukee, you look at Philly, the Lakers, you look at Houston, Utah. Everybody has their two guys and, it's a heck of a supporting cast as well.

So you can fill in that third spot with anybody, so I think it's a good thing for the league. It changed the league, but it's good for the league. Victory, everybody is looking for a victory. It didn't work for a lot of teams, so now this is a new dynamic for the new generation.

Q. The question to both you guys. At the other media day in town Friday, LeBron said the big winner was Staples Center. For you guys being the center focal point, for the first time there is a legitimate rivalry between two teams. Both have expectation to win a championship. You guys are at the center of that. What does that mean to you and how do you describe it?
MONTREZL HARRELL: I don't think we really pay too much attention to any of that. We don't get into the into the whole back and forth thing.

That's for the city to do and basically for you guys to do as far as media.

As far as us, we look at it as another game on the schedule that has to be played, one we have to go out there and prepare in order to get ourselves ready to win.

I don't think we get too much into the whole L.A. versus L.A. thing. As far as in general the Staples Center is a winner because we both play in that building.

So as far as that, I definitely agree with it. As far as the whole rivalry thing, I think -- well I know in our lockeroom we don't really tie ourselves too much to that.

PAUL GEORGE: Yeah, I say the same thing. I agree with what Bron said. Staples Center is where you want to be, with the team we got and the team they have. But I don't put that pressure that that's the team we necessarily have to compare ourselves up to. There are 29 other teams we got to go ahead and go against and compete against.

It's not a head-to-head battle. We got to come out, got to play, do what we got to do, the same way 29 other teams got to do.

Q. Question for both of you. Trez, teams around the league have put together mini camps and tried to get a head start on training camp doing some team building things. How far along are you guys in that process? And my question to Paul you been in the league a little longer. Do you think that's happening because guys realize how quickly things can change?
MONTREZL HARRELL: I definitely think we're farther along than people actually think. We came in, what, right after Memorial Day weekend and been playing pick up and guys been lifting weights, getting extra cardio in, getting prepared for what we're about to have come on Monday when we come in for the first day of actual training camp, and then going to Hawaii which is improvement of the team, team building going over there.

We been going for a while. We just don't have that whole media source of everybody coming in and watching. We're kind of the ones that work behind closed doors and get the job done. So we're a lot further along than people actually think.

PAUL GEORGE: Yeah, to Trez's point, the second this came together, I mean, we were all in a group chat. We were all chatting, talking, laughing, building that togetherness, camaraderie. The second this came together; the second me and Kawhi became a part of this team. So that relationship was established early to where we came in the facility and it was like I knew them. You know what I mean?

I been around these guys. Felt like we fast forwarded all of that getting to know each other based off us already being in chat. Then you seize the opportunity. You know what's ahead, what you have to do.

Again, I've been fortunate playing with some real good teams. Just never know. You never know how that team is going to shape up. In my case I got injured in Indiana. We went on the downfall from there.

So you just never know. Never know what you have. So you got to give everything, invest everything, and try to pull the best out of that season, that group.

Q. You guys both play with a lot of physicality and toughness. How do you look to implement that when you play against other teams this year?
MONTREZL HARRELL: Ain't changing nothing as far as the way I play. I play around the basic. Not changing nothing I'm doing. I guess that's that.

PAUL GEORGE: We aren't changing nothing. I'm going to be hyped and more physical.

Q. Trez, you and Lou were dynamic off the bench. How much better can this bench be with additions to the team you have now?
MONTREZL HARRELL: I definitely think it grows a lot. Like I said, be around Lou as much as I am in the summertime and be able to get that extra bonding in, and the different league we play in down in Atlanta definitely does a great deal of help. Helping us form an even stronger bond knowing the way me and him kind of react and feed off one another.

But the added pieces we have and including the pieces we had last year, it just grows from there really. I definitely think it's still going to be the same thing as me and Lou coming off the bench leading that group. We have a lot of guys that can definitely step in and do a lot more different things than what guys could do in the previous times for us.

So I definitely think it improves us way more than hurting us. Like I said, we got different guys that come in and give the defense presence on the floor, so we can definitely save room for certain aspects on the floor. I definitely think it's going to help us out a lot.

Q. This is for Paul. I know you're in rehab mode now, but how seriously would you consider playing in the Olympics next year?
PAUL GEORGE: I would love to. You know, hopefully God willing, I can get through a season healthy. When the time comes, when that time comes, I would love to be a part of the Olympics and represent. But, you know, this comes first obviously, getting through this year, given everything to this year.

And, you know, hopefully by June we are the last team standing. I'll deal with it at that point. Don't really matter if we go all the way, you know, as long as I'm healthy. When I get to that point and I'm healthy, you know, I'm in. I want to be a part of that group.

Q. How much have you envisioned what this team is going to look like defensively? It was already a good defensive team. Added two premier defense players. As far as versatility and being able to adjust during games...
PAUL GEORGE: It's going to be scary. I mean, we got Lou. No, it's going to be scary, you know, with myself, Trez, Kawhi, Pat, Shamet, Rodney. We really got a chance to do something special on the defensive end. I think it's going to be an energetic team. Watching Pat get out there and picking somebody at 94 feet, that's going to get me going. Going to get Kawhi going. It's just going to become contagious on a nightly basis.

I think for the first time people are going to be excited to watch the defensive side as opposed to the offensive team. It's going to be fun. We can do a lot. There is a lot of versatility with what we got, guys guarding multiple positions, guys guarding bigger, guys guarding smaller. There is just a lot that we can go with, and it's a lot of guys that's committed to playing.

Q. Who is going to score?
PAUL GEORGE: Who is going to score? You got to ask the other teams that.

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