NBA

Clippers not measuring themselves against Lakers, insists George

By Sports Desk September 30, 2019

Paul George insists the Los Angeles Clippers are not looking to compare themselves to the Los Angeles Lakers in the coming NBA season.

Following the arrivals of George and Kawhi Leonard at the Clippers and Anthony Davis joining LeBron James at the Lakers, the two LA teams are seen as genuine championship contenders in 2019-20.

But while the sides will share the same home at Staples Center and comparisons are likely to come easy, the Clippers will not be thinking that way internally.

George said: "Staples Center is where you want to be, with the team we've got and the team they have.

"But I don't put that pressure that that's the team we necessarily have to compare ourselves to. There are 29 other teams we've got to go ahead and go against and compete against.

"It's not a head-to-head battle. We've got to come out, got to play, do what we got to do, the same way 29 other teams got to do."

George has undergone shoulder surgery in the offseason, having seen injury hamper him towards the end of the previous campaign at the Oklahoma City Thunder, where he was an MVP finalist.

George is targeting a return to action in November and is pleased with the way his body is recovering.

"As far as my health, I'm pretty good," he said. "I'll be in camp starting this week. Nothing contact, but all the scripted stuff I'll be a part of.

"I'm used to being in this rehab stage and knowing what it takes to get my body prepared and get my body up to speed.

"It's a long process, but, again, I think me going through it and having had a drastic injury in my leg, I know what to expect. I know what pressures to put on myself and what pressure not to put on myself as well.

"It comes with a lot of stress when you're going through rehab. I'm just in a good place. I know what I need to do, what I'm capable of, and ultimately I know when my body is ready."

George hopes the season will end with a Clippers championship, but he is also aiming to be healthy enough to play for the United States at the Tokyo Olympics.

"I would love to. Hopefully, God willing, I can get through a season healthy," he said. "When that time comes, I would love to be a part of the Olympics and represent.

"But this comes first obviously, getting through this year, giving everything to this year.

"Hopefully, by June, we are the last team standing. I'll deal with it at that point. It doesn't really matter if we go all the way, as long as I'm healthy.

"When I get to that point and I'm healthy, I'm in. I want to be a part of that group."

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