Clippers star Paul George’s honest reaction to LeBron James never being 100% again
The Los Angeles Clippers continued their historic postseason Monday night, winning Game 5 against the Phoenix Suns and forcing a Game 6 back in Los Angeles. Paul George put on a masterful performance to lead his team to the win, and even name-dropped LeBron James when discussing his recovery from injuries and changing his game.
George has been through a slew of injuries throughout his career, most notably his devastating lower-leg injury as well as his dual shoulder surgery in the same offseason. Over the years, his game has changed from being a high-flying player to a much more grounded one.
“It’s just been tough,” Paul George said after the win. “It’s been a process. I hear LeBron say he’s not 100 percent and won’t ever be 100 percent again. I thought about it, like, man, that was stripped from me as well. It’s tough. I definitely lost some things. Even with the shoulder surgeries, I lost a little bit.”
LeBron James’ comments came after his Los Angeles Lakers fell in Game 2 of the first round against the Suns.
“Getting back to 100 percent is impossible,” James said at the time. “I don’t think I’ll ever get back to 100 percent in my career.”
George went through a year-long recovery from his broken leg back in the 2014 offseason. He played the last few months of the 2018-19 season with a partial supraspinatus tear in his right shoulder as well as a small labrum tear in his left shoulder. He had surgery for both in the offseason he was traded to the Clippers.
Injuries are a part of basketball, as everyone knows, and it’s also about how players learn to adapt their games after those injuries.
“It’s part of this game and you have to take it,” George added. “You have to roll with it and you have to be able to adapt. You just keep it moving. But it is tough, going through these injuries, rehabbing, finding a way to be yourself again.
“I think the good thing about it, you just learn on the fly. You learn how to adapt to stuff, knowing what you can and cannot do. And then you just figure out new ways to do things. I think that’s what I’ve been able to do this year.”
"I heard LeBron saying he's not 100% and won't ever be again and I thought about it. That was straight for me as well. It's tough, but it's part of this game. You gotta take it and be able to adapt."
— Tomer Azarly (@TomerAzarly) June 29, 2021
Paul George fought through fatigue and injury to drop a playoff career-high 41 points to go along with his 13 rebounds, six assists, and three steals.
Monday’s win means Paul George and the Clippers will return home to host a Game 6 on Wednesday night. It’s still a do-or-die situation for the Clippers, who will likely be without Kawhi Leonard and Ivica Zubac due to knee sprains.