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August 29, 2020

Paul George

Orlando, Florida, USA

Press Conference

Q. Paul, what did it mean to you when you saw guys like Danny Green coming to support after what you said about dealing with depression in the bubble?

PAUL GEORGE: I mean, we're all dealing with it. You know, whether I was the first to say it or not, we're all dealing with it. I've had conversations with guys here, and there's been a couple guys that is like, man, I'm happy I'm not the only one. I've been dealing with this, too. It's a thing in here. It's a brotherhood. Danny has got my back, I got his. We support one another.

Q. I was wondering what was Wednesday night to Thursday, the emotions of you and the team like from perhaps deciding not to play on Wednesday night to deciding, okay, we are playing again? What was that like for the 24 hours?

PAUL GEORGE: I mean, we just wanted to be on the same page with everything that was going on, not only inside the bubble but outside the bubble. That's where our take was coming from. We're obviously fully committed to winning a championship here, but we just want everything to be basically on the same page with everything else, and everything to pretty much fall in line with what's going on, like I said, inside and outside of the bubble.

Q. Doc said something that he learned from this weekend was that he underestimated how much this was affecting you guys, but also given just his prominence through this last week and your conversations that you had with him, how would you describe the impact he's had on not just your team but the league as a whole over the past couple days?

PAUL GEORGE: I think, you know, Doc's just presence here, from being successful Black man -- I've said it multiple times. He's our coach, but he gives like a father figure presence, as well. I think he gave almost if not one of the biggest advices and perspectives for us to continue this fight, not only to win a championship but to continue to fight with what's going on with police brutality, the outside world, the socioeconomics -- just a whole line of stuff that he talked to us about, and he does that. He's been doing that since I've been here from start to finish, from when I first got here until now. He's always chipped in something that we can walk away and take with us.

So I think just the combos with him, him just expressing what he's been through, it's been very helpful, just to get through things and to know we have a leader like that on our side, is means a lot to this team.

Q. Obviously the league came together as a whole, but do you feel like this experience has brought this team even closer together?

PAUL GEORGE: Absolutely. Absolutely. I mean, this is a roller coaster. It's a roller coaster being in here, so all of us are riding this wave together, and it's an experience we'll all take away from it. But we definitely got closer. We had to spend two days of talking and having uncomfortable conversations. You know, you got to see different guys' points of view and different guys' interests, and there was just a lot laid out on the table that the whole team kind of talked about. We definitely got closer.

Q. My question for you, would you share your thoughts on -- you guys made your decision as a group, as a collective in the NBA, and then you see the Major League Baseball follow suit, MLS, the NFL a couple days later decided that they're going to cancel their practice. You guys being the leaders in the sports world, talk about that a little bit.

PAUL GEORGE: Well, I think it's great. You know, I think it's great. We've got great leaders in the NBA, and it's great. We've got to hold ourselves accountable. I think that's first and foremost. We have to do the right things and take actions on what we're preaching. But it's great just to have the support of all the other sports around us, all the other leagues around us. But you know, we can't just talk the talk, we've got to walk the walk. Everyone is on the same page, and that's at the end of the day what we want to get to, everybody moving at once, all the sports world moving at once, and it starts with us. Like I said, it's great to have the support around all the other leagues to kind of back us up and move with us. Everybody wants to make a change, and it's great at that we're the ones leading it.

Q. You talked about how you guys wanted to make the decision as a team, what you wanted to do in terms of continuing to play. Obviously you had personal feelings even before that came up, about maybe this isn't the best place for me. How do you kind of balance those concerns sort of doing what's best for the team versus maybe what you're feeling on the inside, and is there a conversation that you had maybe with a teammate that you can share with us that maybe swayed you to be here?

PAUL GEORGE: Well, I think, first, I wasn't just going to cave in immediately. If it got severe, I think my team would have understood if I needed to walk away from this. But all it took was me seeking help and seeking advice, and starting from there, it helped. It put me in a different place. I mean, that's where the decision was made that I could continue to keep going, because of the help that I got.

I mean, that's just where it started. I mean, it was just great advice all around, everyone telling me they feel the same way, just continue to be me, play my game. All of that helped, just their views and perspective and the way they view me. It kind of just changed my whole spirits.

Again, that's just where it started.

Q. And the "Stay PG" on your shoe, that's what that's about?


Q. I know you guys have two people back in LA that could help. I don't know if any of them are in the bubble. Do you feel like there's adequate help if you wanted it from a psychiatrist standpoint to reach out to here?

PAUL GEORGE: Yeah, no, we do have -- we have someone on-site, not with our team but with the NBA. There's someone on-site, but that's not who I use, I use our people back in LA. That was all I needed. Going forward, I think that's who will still be in my corner and who I'll kind of stay close with.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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