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Paul George says number change to 13 (PG-13) was about coming into his own

Aug 16, 2014, 12:05 AM EDT

Paul George AP

It’s a marketing thing.

Paul George is a rising star in the basketball world trying to crossover into the world where even casual sports fans — and even some non-sports fans — know who he is. A catchy nickname like PG-13 helps with that. (Plus it was a nice touch he bought up all his old jerseys on the market and donated them to his high school.)

George explained the move speaking to Vigilant Sports, noting that this was not easy.

“I was just superstitious about changing my number,” he said. “Being with 24 for as long as I can remember. It’s always been one of my favorite numbers, and being a big Kobe [Bryant] fan growing up had a little bit to do with it. I was superstitious about it….

“And the whole thing behind PG-13 is just coming into my own. I feel like I’m at that stage where I’m ready to embrace everything that comes with being one of the young stars in this league. Everyone knows PG-13 is related to television, so the whole thing is being able to enjoy the show and being fun to watch.”

Of course, people know who he is now for another reason — the horrific leg break he suffered in the USA Basketball showcase in Las Vegas a few weeks back. One that will almost certainly keep him out all of next season.

But that can be part of the story long-term now — another hurdle he had to overcome. George was not highly recruited out of high school, and even coming out of college to the NBA he was taken behind Wesley Johnson, Evan Turner, and Al-Farouq Aminu among others. His basketball career has been about being underestimated, working hard and overcoming the odds. This is just another chapter in that.

It could make one of those feel good, cheesy, Disney sports movies… probably rated PG-13.

  1. wledlund - Aug 16, 2014 at 12:10 AM


  2. clevelandrox - Aug 16, 2014 at 12:24 AM

    “And the whole thing behind PG-13 is just coming into my own.” LOL, you got the name from Bill Simmons little hating a$$… and PG-13 is how you play in the conference championship rounds…

    • bball242322 - Aug 18, 2014 at 12:20 PM

      Who cares where the name originated from…? and your attempt at insult at the end of your comment was absolutely terrible

  3. mackcarrington - Aug 16, 2014 at 1:01 AM

    I’m not superstitious, but he was planning on changing his # to 13 and then he had his accident? Hmmmmm…….

  4. khmerson562 - Aug 16, 2014 at 1:02 AM

    With an injury like that this guy is not going to be the same. 13 is a bad luck #. That could led to his injury.

  5. succulentnipples - Aug 16, 2014 at 9:01 AM

    Johnathon Football.

    • bball242322 - Aug 18, 2014 at 12:20 PM

      Not in the slightest

  6. ProBasketballPundit - Aug 16, 2014 at 12:39 PM

    So he wore #24 because he was a big fan of Kobe Bryant growing up. Kobe started wearing #24 in 2008. Paul George entered the league in 2010. So….. Paul George did his growing up and was only really into the NBA from 2008-2010?

    • raidmagic - Aug 16, 2014 at 1:33 PM

      OR he was a big Kobe fan (all along) and when he came into the league he chose that number because Kobe was wearing it. Sorry to use logic on such a great Pundit as yourself.

      • ProBasketballPundit - Aug 16, 2014 at 2:34 PM

        Actually, I’m the one who used deductive logic. You used common sense.

  7. twinfan24 - Aug 16, 2014 at 12:53 PM

    So, in order to come into his own, he will take on a nickname that has been an everyday movie rating term that has been around close to 30 years? Maybe he could have switched to #1 and gone with A-1 as a nickname, #10 and called himself Top Ten, etc. Not sure how that is coming into his own, but whatever works for him.

    • bball242322 - Aug 18, 2014 at 12:21 PM


  8. loungefly74 - Aug 18, 2014 at 8:30 AM

    not a big deal…because he is not a big deal with broken leg n all…(SLAM!)…the sound of the Pacers’ window.

    • bball242322 - Aug 18, 2014 at 12:22 PM

      dumbest comment on here. easy with the hate. no one likes that guy who kicks a team when they’re down. You’re that guy

      • loungefly74 - Aug 19, 2014 at 1:40 PM

        i wouldnt say “dumb”…more of a reality check. will the Pacers contend in 2014-15? tell me.

        kicks a team when they’re down? dude, I’m a Laker fan. no one gets it worse than us…

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