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NBA Star Credits Community in Battle Against Depression

After a decisive win in their 2020 playoff series against the Dallas Mavericks, LA Clippers star forward Paul George was candid and vulnerable in his postgame interview. He implied that his poor shooting in the three previous games was due to his struggles with depression and anxiety.

George later explained, "It was just a little bit of everything. 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.” George was referring to the tightly-regulated confines of the Disney World campus, known informally as “the bubble.” In order to prevent any positive tests for the novel coronavirus, the NBA has congregated all of its playoff teams inside the Disney facilities, with games being staged in arenas onsite and players housed in hotels onsite. George continued, “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."

The Clippers head coach at the time, Doc Rivers, acknowledged that the interaction was helpful. He said, “This is not a normal environment, OK? It just isn't. [George] and I sat in my room after the game. We just had a long talk, not all about basketball, really. Several players did it. Guys were knocking on his door."

Teammate Montrezl Harrell confirms this, admitting he understood the challenge of maintaining emotional equilibrium after having grieved the loss of his grandmother. Harrell said of George, "We just wanted to get him out of that. Get him out of his room … just constantly be around him to show him that we're here with him.”

George said he felt the difference the morning of that game. “I mean, I just felt it. My energy, my spirit was changed. That's all it needed.”

Possible Preaching Angle:

God places us into communities that can help support us when we're going through tough times


Ohm Youngmisuk, “Clippers' Paul George says he dealt with anxiety, depression inside bubble,” ABC News (8-26-20)

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