Los Angeles Clippers star Paul George felt he was in serious danger when his team’s charter plane was struck by lightning on the way to Denver on Feb. 25. So much so, that he genuinely considered sending a goodbye text to loved ones when the turbulence kicked in.
George recently took to his own Podcast P with Paul George to discuss what went through his mind at the time.
"It woulda been over bro… Podcast RIP" 💀
— Podcast P with Paul George (@PodcastPShow) March 20, 2023
The news of the Clippers’ plane being struck by lightning was first reported by ESPN’s Ohm Youngmisuk.
“The Clippers’ plane began to shake and rattle before a loud bang could be heard,” Youngmisuk wrote. “Some staffers saw a flash on the right side of the aircraft as the engine went eerily silent for a moment before roaring back to life and filling the cabin with thunderous revving. The plane dropped in altitude several times and shrieks could be heard from passengers in what some staffers called one of the worst moments they’ve experienced on a flight.”
Fortunately, the plane eventually landed safely in Denver, despite the terrifying experience. Despite George’s jovial attitude and humorous reaction to the incident on his podcast, George and other members of the Clippers clearly thought it might have been the end for them.
Ngl we thought it was over wit 😂😂🤦🏽♂️ https://t.co/iNoMpW9LmD
— Bones Hyland (@BizzyBones11) March 15, 2023
George went on to remind listeners that this actually wasn’t his first time dealing with a concerning airplane issue in his NBA career. While playing for the Oklahoma City Thunder, a bird struck the team’s plane in 2017. Carmelo Anthony posted a photo of the plane after the team landed.
It’s hard to imagine the distress of dealing with one harrowing airplane incident, let alone two. Thankfully, serious danger was avoided in both cases. George and the Clippers will certainly thank their lucky stars as they get back to work carving out a playoff spot in the Western Conference.
The Clippers currently sit in the fifth seed with a record of 38-34. George, along with Kawhi Leonard and the rest of the team are looking to make a serious splash in the playoffs this season. Since George and Leonard have been on the team together, they’ve fallen somewhat short of expectations.
In 2022, the Clippers were edged out of the play-in tournament by the Minnesota Timberwolves. The previous year, they made it all the way to the Western Conference Finals before being eliminated by the Phoenix Suns.
But Leonard and George are both fully healthy now. With 10 games remaining in the regular season, they should have as good a shot as anyone to make the NBA Finals assuming both stars can remain on the court throughout the playoffs.