Indiana Pacers All-Star Paul George defended himself and dismissed any thought that he was a dirty player before the Pacers’ game against the Cavaliers on Monday.

George involuntarily found himself caught in the fallout of Kobe Bryant’s ankle injury when Cavs guard Daniel Gibson over the weekend accused George of perhaps intentionally trying to hurt him last season.

“I’m not a dirty player,” George said Monday. “A young guy doesn’t come into the league being a dirty player. But whatever he wants to say, he can say.”

George was a second-year guard last season when Gibson landed on his foot during a game. Gibson wound up with a torn tendon that needed to be surgically repaired and ended his season. Gibson said his foot still isn’t 100 percent healthy.

– Reported by Jason Lloyd of the Akron Beacon Journal