Danny Green Says He Can Relate To Paul George's Mental Health Struggles In NBA Bubble

Melissa Rohlin

A few days after Clippers' Paul George acknowledged he's dealt with anxiety and depression inside the NBA bubble, Danny Green said he can relate to his mental health struggles.

"The bubble is a good as you are playing, and you have not many escapes or outside distractions," Green said in a videoconference call Friday. "If you’re not playing well, the walls are going to close in on you more and more. And trust me, I know exactly what Paul is going through."

Green, who has struggled at times with his shooting since arriving at Walt Disney World in Florida in July, said being confined to a campus without many distractions has made social media increasingly important in players' lives. 

And that is a dangerous thing. 

"You have nothing to do but look at your phone and social media all day, and all they are doing is bullying you," Green said. "They are trying to get you to play well. So [George] was going through a rough stretch, and I’m sure doors were closing in on him and it was getting dark for him."

After the Clippers' 154-111 win over the Dallas Mavericks in Game 5 of their first-round playoff series on Tuesday, George opened up about being "in a dark place." 

In Game 5, George scored 35 points in 25 minutes, an epic turnaround from his previous three performances, in which he had a combined 34 points in Games 2, 3 and 4. 

"I underestimated mental health, honestly," George told reporters Tuesday. "I had anxiety. A little bit of depression. Just being locked in here. I just wasn't there. I checked out."

Green, similarly, has struggled with his shot at points. 

In the Lakers' first three games of the resumed NBA season, he went 2-for-13 from beyond the three-point line. 

In the Lakers' first-round playoff series against the Portland Trail Blazers, he's averaged only 38.2 percent from the field, though in Game 4 on Monday, Green had 14 points on five-for-eight shooting, including making three of his four shots from beyond the arc. 

The Lakers have won three games in a row and have a 3-1 series lead. Game 5 is Saturday at 6 p.m. PST. 

Green said the bubble is a very delicate place, and things turn hard quickly when things aren't going your way. 

"If you’re not playing well, as an individual or in a group, it’ll get dark in here quick," Green said. "The walls will close in a lot sooner, a lot faster. There’s no escape. You’re don’t to have your families here, you don’t have your dogs, you don’t have your kids. Your phone is right there. The only thing connecting you to the real world is social media, but not all social media is going to be on your side.”

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