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.

Gibson was angry at the Atlanta Hawks’ Dahntay Jones for stepping into Bryant’s landing area last week and said Jones has the reputation of being a dirty player. Then he pointed out that Jones played for the Pacers last season and “rumor has it, [Jones] taught [George] a few tricks,” Gibson said.

The league was supposed to crack down on defenders stepping into shooters’ landing areas, but Gibson said it hasn’t been policed as well as promised. The problem with Gibson is how far forward he lands on his jump shots, making it difficult for officials to determine how wide of a safety net to give him.

Masked man

Just when the Cavs thought they could put away all those protective masks, Luke Walton appeared Monday night in another mask.