Los Angeles Clippers star Paul George is continuing his recovery from a knee injury that ended his regular season and cast a shadow over his team’s NBA title dreams.

The 32-year-old multi-time NBA All Star has spent the first two games of his team’s playoffs series against the Phoenix Suns on the sideline, supporting his teammates from the bench.

George says he’s been watching the games amid feelings of excitement and envy.

“I want to be out there so bad, it hurts,” the former Palmdale basketball star said on his podcast, Podcast P with Paul George. “Just walking out there and seeing the crowd going crazy. I’m like, f***, I missed this. Like this is what it’s about … that’s the playoff environment I miss so much.” 

George is expected to miss the entirety of his team’s Western Conference Playoffs series against Kevin Durant, Chris Paul, Devin Booker and the Suns.

He says he’s been working “ass off,” to get back on the court and keep the Clippers’ title aspirations alive.

“I’m trying to get back there to support my guys and be there in the trenches with them,” he said. “I’m working, I’m training my ass off. I’m in the best shape right now. So when that time comes, I will be back with the troops and you know, try to go get this trophy.”

In his stead, George’s All Star teammate Kawhi Leonard has been tasked with a larger offensive and defensive burden. Leonard led the Clippers to an upset win against the Suns in Game 1, but the team announced that he would miss Game 3 at home due to a sprained right knee — a similar injury to what has sidelined George for several weeks.

Currently, there is no timeline for when Leonard might return. ESPN reporter Adrian Wojnarowski said Leonard aggravated his knee in Game 1 and played through the pain in Game 2. He’ll rest for Game 3 and is considered to be day-to-day, Wojnarowski said.

The injury is unrelated to a previous ACL tear that stole his entire 2021-22 season.

The Clippers tip off against the Phoenix Suns at Crypto.com Arena Thursday night at 7:30 p.m. The series is tied 1-1 and both teams are considered to be contenders for the Larry O’Brien Trophy, depending on who survives their hotly contested series.

George also weighed in on several hot-button topics across the league right now, including the suspension of Golden State Warriors forward Draymond Green who will miss Game 3 of his team’s series against the Sacramento Kings after he stomped on Kings center Domantas Sabonis.

“I think that was unfair. They based it off of previous plays that he’s done and attacked his resume of things he’s done,” George said.

On the topic of banning the charge in the NBA following injuries to marquee superstars Ja Morant of the Memphis Grizzlies and Giannis Antetokounmpo of the Milwaukee Bucks, George said “hell no.”

“I know it sucks seeing the stars go down in the playoffs, you want to see the stars play but again that’s part of the game … That’s what playoff basketball is about,” George said.

To listen to the podcast in its entirety, click here.