PAUL GEORGE TALKS MVP, LONDON

Paul George talks ahead of the Indiana Pacers game in London on Thursday against the Denver Nuggets.

James Harden for MVP – how do you feel about that?

PG: He’s got a good case right now. What’s impressive is that he’s doing it night in and night out and they got that record. Those guys are playing really good. James is a leader by nature and it’s in his DNA. It’s not surprising he’s taken the role he’s taken right now.

What’s it like being recognised around the world? Does it feel ok with you?

PG: Of course. To know that I’m recognised that many miles away from home, it’s always a reassurance of how much I’ve worked and how hard I’ve worked.

Can you ever escape?

PG: There are places. I’m not Michael Jackson or Prince. I can get around being unrecognised. I prefer it. I’m a low key guy. I prefer flying under the radar But it’s the nature of the game. I can’t be good at my sport and want to be unrecognised.

How has Jeff Teague’s arrival changed things?

PG: It takes a lot off me. Last year a lot of my plays were stuff I got on my own. This year Teague’s taking a lot of the pressure off me. As long as I run and I’m available, he’s going to find me. It’s been a lot easier – I can focus on defence and I can focus on scoring.

You put a post out on Instagram this week asking for London food tips, what have the fans recommended?

PG: I have to eat fish and chips. That’s priority number one! Yesterday we went to Gaucho, it’s a pretty good steakhouse, but I need to find some more local spots!

What’s it like to be involved in the NBA Global Games London 2017?

PG: As much as we can expand this game and grow basketball internationally, we’re certainly all for coming here and to other countries. Us guys in the US love to showcase the beautiful game we have. We enjoy it.

Does it take a while to adapt to being in a new country?

PG: Nah, not really. At the end of the day, this is what we do. We play basketball. It’s our job. It’ll be different, it’s a fun environment and its new to us, but we enjoy it.

 What can the British fans expect as you face off against the Denver Nuggets?

PG: We do all our moves with our hands, not our feet. We get up and down and get after it, we’re a good group. We plan on scoring a lot of points and playing a lot of defence – you’ll see a lot of both. Denver’s not a bad team at all, it’s going to be a grind for us, but we’re looking forwards to the match up. We’re rolling right now. We’ve won five games in a row, looking to make it six this Thursday.

 What form do you enter the fixture in?

PG: We had a tough start to this year, mainly due to new guys meshing together. The chemistry had to be built. We’re a lot further on now, we’re enjoying each other’s company and each other’s game on the court. We understand where others are going to be, floor space and all that good stuff you need to form a team, we’re starting get that right. That was all that was lost at the start of the year. We want to sneak into the top four.

 Tell us about your comeback from injury

PG: It’s just not giving up. Knowing where I wanted to get to and where I was at. Never give up the grind and getting back to it. I’m a competitor, if I step on the court it’s game time. I didn’t return to the game to see if I was OK, I came back because I knew I was ready.

 

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