Paul George officially kicked off his four day-trip in Beijing today with Nike.
His first event was a visit to the Nike Clubhouse with more than 50 people in attendance, where George spoke about his “personal rise” moments and encouraged players to rise to life’s challenges and tap their full potential.
Facing life challenges and pressure has surely a big part of Paul George’s career. Prior to the start of his pro career, the 25-year-old NBA all-star had also faced issues of obscurity and questions and doubts from various outlets due to his “unknown” nature. Of course, his most remembered rise moment came last year. It was at Las Vegas where he suffered a gruesome leg injury in a collision with a basket stanchion at a national team scrimmage. Yet to many people’s surprise, George was able to return the Pacers at the end of the season. He played for six games but was sidelined again by a calf injury.
“I thrive under pressure and I love it. It pushes you to go even further. Without it, you miss the ‘it’ factor and can’t do as well.”
“I was an all-star reserve in my third season, so I knew that in order to get to that spot again, or even become the starter, I needed to work even harder.”
When sharing about his experience about making important decisions, George believes that setting small goals and giving it all are two keys towards long-term success.
“In life, you change your mind so much you don’t know exactly whatever you wanted to do. I always knew I wanted to play basketball, but had questions of whether I should make this choice this over that. But whatever choice you end up making, you got to give it one–hundred-and-ten percent. It’s also important that you start with small goals then work your way up. ”
In addressing other subjects, especially on this year’s off season moves, George said he is ready to take on being the leader of this team, but will not take it for granted.
“I have been out a year and coming back to a new team, building chemistry, and being a leader is what I am ready to do. But being the undisputed leader comes a long way and you got to earn it and can’t take it for granted. Working extra hard, first-come, last-to-leave, being the best player on the practice floor.”
He also liked the Pacers’ commitment to a faster tempo, acquisitions, and gave some really positive opinions about it. He said those players would open up the floor for himself.
“I love this move. Monta Ellis isn’t well known for his defensive ability, but he can score the ball consistently, and that’s something this team needs. He can also get a couple steals each game and create space and opportunities with his great passing abilities.” George said.