George: Clippers always felt this season wasn't 'championship or bust'
Following the Clippers' postseason elimination Tuesday at the hands of the Denver Nuggets, the 30-year-old said neither he nor his team considered this season their best and only opportunity for an NBA title.
"The fact of the matter is we didn't live up to that expectation," George said, courtesy of The Washington Post's Ben Golliver. "But I think internally we've always felt this is not a 'championship or bust' year for us. We can only get better the longer we stay together, the more we're around each other.
"The more chemistry for this group, the better. I think that's really the tale of the tape for this season, we just didn't have enough time together."
Clippers guard Lou Williams also cited a lack of chemistry as a reason for the team blowing a 3-1 series lead.
"We had championship expectations. We had the talent to do it. We didn't have the chemistry to do it," Williams said postgame, courtesy of The Undefeated's Marc J. Spears.
Chemistry may not be the only factor behind Los Angeles' loss. Some players had to ask for breathers in the fourth quarter and could not play for longer than three-minute stints, sources told Spears.
However, the Clippers may not have much more time to secure the Larry O'Brien Trophy with George and fellow star Kawhi Leonard on the roster. The two California natives possess player options for 2021-22, meaning they could both become free agents after next season. Williams, 33, will also be an unrestricted free agent in 2021.
Rumblings of unrest within the Clippers' locker room are not new. A report in January suggested some unnamed players were bothered by the team's "preferential treatment" of both George and Leonard, who were acquired in the 2019 offseason.
- Mayfield has shoulder fracture in addition to torn labrum
- Report: Price, Binnington among 6 goalies on Team Canada's list for Olympics
- Congress asks NFL for information on Washington Football Team investigation
- Odell active vs. Broncos despite shoulder injury
- China blocks Celtics games after Kanter's public support of Tibet