Paul George has been thinking about wearing No. 13 for quite a while. His first thought goes back to the summer of 2010, after being drafted by the Pacers with the 10th pick in the NBA Draft.
“I remember sitting in a car with my agent, and we were discussing that PG-13 could be a good fit for my career,” George explained Friday afternoon. “Because I wasn’t a household name, it’ll be something for fans to kind of gravitate to.”
The word first got out earlier this week, and went over well — minus those with now outdated No. 24 jerseys.
On Wednesday, over 600 items, including jerseys and t-shirts, were distributed to students and faculty at his alma mater, Knight High School, as well as the Boys & Girls Club in his hometown of Palmdale, Calif.
“They were just surprised and really happy to be receiving jerseys,” Knight principal Josh Evans told VigilantSports.com by phone. “And then there’s that connection that Paul George has with the school.”
George talked about his number change Friday when he spoke for the first time since breaking both the tibia and fibula bones in his right leg.
“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.”
He first tried to make the switch prior to his third season (2012).
“I applied to change my number first, but then we had some bonehead kid come in and take 13,” he said jokingly.
George, of course, was referring to Miles Plumlee, who was traded the following summer – 2013 – to Phoenix. I can’t believe he didn’t just take it from the rookie.
“And then, when I had the opportunity to do so again (this spring), we jumped on it,” George said, with a big smile. “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.”
So when might we see PG-13 on the floor for game action? It’s too early to say at this point, but unlikely during the 2014-15 season.
Second-year wing Solomon Hill, who the Pacers need to make a big impact this upcoming season in George’s absence, also changed his number. He’s going back to 44, his high school number.
Who all has worn #13 in Pacers history?
1972-74: Don Freeman, G
1980: Ron Carter, SG
1994-96, 1997-2000: Mark Jackson, PG
2003-04: Kenny Anderson, PG
2004-08: David Harrison, C
2009-2010: Luther Head, SG
2012-13 Miles Plumlee, C
Paul George ’13’ jerseys are already for sale in the team’s official store — in white and gold — and on their website, with the swingman jersey costing $110.28.