Paul George and the Clippers are one of the contenders to watch in the NBA’s restart in Orlando, but with the time off, there is no telling who is in the right shape. The six-time NBA All-Star spent quarantine with his family back home while training to keep ready. George spoke to Sports Illustrated about preparing for the NBA bubble, his new partnership with Therabody and his one-year anniversary with the Clippers.
The following interview has been lightly edited for clarity and brevity.
Sports Illustrated: How did you stay in shape during the time off? How challenging was the quarantine?
Paul George: The team facility has been closed for most of quarantine so I’ve had to do a lot of working out at home, but I’m fortunate to have a good at-home gym set up. I’ve been focusing on a lot of body weight training and cardio.
SI: NBA players are finally out of quarantine and back on the court. How do you know when you are in game shape? What is the most important aspect about that for you?
George: You can prep physically and mentally, but can’t get into true basketball shape without actually playing a full-game with nine other guys, so it’s been great to get to Orlando and start practicing with the team again.
SI: You are a superstar in the league, but do you feel like your game can ascend to another level?
George: There’s always more you can do to separate yourself from other players in the league. I’m lucky enough to be surrounded by incredible, established players every day and they make me a better player.
SI: As you get further into your career, what clicked for you to start focusing on wellness and your body?
George: In the past five years or so, I have really focused on taking care of my body. I have realized how much better I feel when I am prioritizing my overall well being—from the food I eat, to the way I recover.
SI: There is much talk about preparing for a game, but how important is the recovery phase after a game or a workout?
George: It’s essential. Taking care of your body, and prioritizing recovery is what preps you for the next game and next workout, and keeps you energized day after day.
SI: Why did you want to partner with Therabody? How does the Theragun and how will it help you on the court?
George: I was first introduced to the Theragun when I first got to the league. It wasn’t long after that I was taking it wherever I went. I can treat myself when I need it and where I need it without a PT, chiropractor or a massage therapist. It goes a lot deeper than typical vibration therapy and can alleviate deep muscle tension—which is really hard to do. It also increases blood flow and range of motion, so it’s great to use during pregame shootaround and the effects last throughout the game.
SI: What are your thoughts on the NBA bubble? Are you excited? How confident are you in your team?
George: I’m excited to get back on the court and compete, and the league is taking every precaution to make us feel safe. Obviously it is tough to be away from family for this long, but we feel confident we will make a deep run in the playoffs and make it worth it.
SI: It has officially been a year since you arrived back home. How would you sum up this past year? Where are you mentally and physically?
George: It’s been a crazy year, and I could never predict where we’d be today, but I’m feeling good and excited to get the season restarted.