Los Angeles Clippers’ star Paul George is keen on European basketball atmosphere to be infused into the NBA, drawing inspiration from his Serbian wife and experiences with Team USA in FIBA competitions.

During a recent episode of Podcast P, George expressed his admiration for the unique aspects of European basketball culture, particularly the intense game atmospheres and passionate fanbases.

George highlighted the fervent support seen in European leagues, citing examples such as the rivalry games between teams like Partizan and Red Star (Crvena Zvezda) in Serbia, where fans create electrifying environments with smoke, fire, theme songs, and chants.

“I think there’s a lot of cool and interesting things that go on in the Euro/FIBA leagues,” George said. “For one, have you seen their game atmospheres? My wife Daniela is obviously Serbian, so she showed me some of the Partizan and Red Star, she showed me the rivalry game between those two and they play outside and it’s smoke and fire and it’s theme songs and chants.”

George expressed his desire for the NBA to incorporate elements of this fervor into its game presentations, citing the potential for enhanced fan engagement and a deeper connection to cultural roots. However, he clarified that he does not advocate for the violence or extreme tribalism sometimes associated with certain fan behaviors.

“That would be dope if that was here in the US,” George said. “And when I was there, they were telling me like it’s really on some gang type sh*t. Like what side you on, like what team you rep. And it’s ramifications behind that. You get caught, from what I was told, it’s that deep. So that’ll be dope. Not the violence and not that part of it, but just how the games are.”

Reflecting on his experiences representing Team USA in FIBA competitions, George recalled the profound connection fans have with their national teams, exemplified by waving flags, singing national anthems, and embracing their cultural heritage.

“I remember we played the FIBA games when we’re laying other countries they’re waving flags in the stands and they’re singing their countryside songs and it was just like, yo this is dope. They really embrace where they’re from and their culture. I think that would be dope if that was part of the game.”