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Clippers' Paul George no longer has doubts about shoulders, health

Andrew Greif, Los Angeles Times on

Published in Basketball

When the season was suspended because of the coronavirus on March 11, Jackson was living in a hotel because the former Detroit Piston had signed with the Clippers only three weeks before. In the weeks and months that followed, Jackson wanted to return to Michigan, where he had training equipment at his house and a private chef ready to whip up options far better than takeout. But Jackson ultimately stayed at his hotel, where he dribbled a basketball on carpet and left only to run trails, ride a bike and shoot on a court at a house George owned but did not live in.

"I would bother him about going up there and just being able to at times shoot on an outside court," Jackson said. "That was kind of my way of working on basketball. Of course, it's not regulation or anything, but just to keep my sanity. "

For the Clippers, a best-case scenario means living on the Disney World campus until the finals in October. For Jackson, that would mean several more months in a hotel. Some of his teammates prepared for the potentially long stay by outfitting their rooms with unique items from home. Lou Williams brought music recording equipment. Center Montrezl Harrell brought a portable sauna, Jackson revealed, calling his teammate a "forward thinker."

"I'm not going to lie, I don't think anybody likes these circumstances or loves it, but I've accepted it," Jackson said. "I have to be here. I have undergo everything ,what everybody does to do something that I love to do, which is to play the game of basketball. I'm enjoying that."

George said he felt "mixed emotions" initially about participating in the restart out of concern over social justice issues but said he ultimately believed the exposure would amplify players' voices.

"Spotlight is on us," George said. "We're opening back up the sports world. With that alone we should have more than enough of an opportunity to get our message and our points across."

 

The spotlight will shine brightly on the Clippers as they attempt to regain the momentum they'd displayed in March. Echoing the confidence he expressed with his shoulders, George suggested his teammates will be ready.

"It's just great to be around the whole group at once," he said. "We've been waiting for this moment for a long time."

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