Many players and league executives have talked about the darkness of the NBA Bubble in 2020 and how it was not a safe or healthy mental environment. Out of everyone who played in the playoffs down in Orlando two seasons ago, Paul George struggled the most and was hit the hardest by the mental strain of being alone.
While he still wound up averaging 20.2 points and 6.1 rebounds in 13 playoff games for the Clippers in the NBA Bubble, Paul George shot just 39.8% from the floor and 33.3% from three-point range.
George struggled mightily to get anything going on the offensive-end of the court and as a result, people around the world began to bash him on social media by calling him ‘Pandemic P’ instead of a nickname he gave himself: ‘Playoff P’.
The 7x All-Star opened up about his struggles in the bubble with ESPN in August 2020 and stated that he was dealing with a lot of anxiety and depression inside isolation.
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“It was just a little bit of everything,” George said. “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. I felt like I wasn’t there. 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.”
After the Clippers lost to the Denver Nuggets in the Western Conference Semifinals that year, Paul George took a lot of time to himself in the short turnaround leading up to the 2020-21 season and it really helped him get back to being who he used to be.