|Full Name||Paul George|
|Birthday||May 2, 1990|
|Teams||Indiana Pacers (2010-2017), Oklahoma City Thunder (2017-2019), Los Angeles Clippers (2019-Present)|
|Career Highlights||6x NBA All-Star, 4x All-NBA, 5x All-Defensive Team|
|Career Stats||20.1 PPG, 6.4 RPG, 3.4 APG|
As a dedicated NBA fan, I‘ve been thrilled to watch the career of Paul George unfold. His journey has been marked by exhilarating highs and challenging lows, but PG13 has always persevered with passion and grace. Let‘s dive into the story of this extraordinary player.
Early Life and High School Career
Paul George was born in 1990 in Palmdale, California, the son of Paul George Sr. and Paulette George. He grew up with his two older sisters, Teiosha and Portala, and basketball was central in their household. As a kid, George idolized players like Kobe Bryant, Tracy McGrady, and Reggie Miller.
George starred at Knight High School, winning CIF State titles and earning "King George" as a nickname for his incredible athleticism and leaping ability. I‘ll never forget watching video of his unreal dunks as a prep standout.
College and NBA Draft
After high school, George chose to stay in-state and attended Fresno State University. He made an instant impact, averaging 14.3 points and 6.2 rebounds per game as a freshman. As a sophomore, George put up 16.8 points and 7.2 rebounds per game while shooting 42% from three. His breakout season landed him first team All-WAC honors.
George declared for the 2010 NBA Draft after his sophomore season. His combination of two-way upside and budding star potential led the Indiana Pacers to select him 10th overall. It was a pivotal moment for the franchise.
Rise to Stardom with Pacers
As a rookie, George made an immediate impact in Indiana, starting all 61 games he played and making the All-Rookie second team. But it was his third season where George truly broke out, earning the Most Improved Player award in 2013. He averaged 17.4 points, 7.6 rebounds, 4.1 assists and 1.8 steals per game.
In 2013-14, George emerged as a legitimate NBA superstar. He averaged 21.7 PPG and carried the Pacers to Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Finals. Seeing George battle LeBron and the Heat was spectacular. He finished 3rd in Defensive Player of the Year voting that season too.
Gruesome Injury and Comeback
Going into 2014-15, expectations were high for George and the Pacers. But a gruesome leg injury while playing in a scrimmage for Team USA changed everything. The compound fracture was horrific, and many wondered if George would ever be the same player again.
But after missing almost the entire season rehabbing, George returned for the final six games and averaged 8.8 points per game. It was clear his explosion and athleticism were still limited, but his comeback was inspiring.
While George wasn‘t quite his old self the following two seasons, he remained an All-Star level performer when healthy. As a fan, I was ecstatic to see him regain his explosiveness and highlight-reel scoring ability.
New Challenge in Oklahoma City
After seven seasons in Indiana, the Pacers traded George to the Oklahoma City Thunder in the summer of 2017. Teamming up with Russell Westbrook, George averaged 21.9 points and 5.7 rebounds in his first season with the Thunder.
George battled shoulder issues in 2018-19, but still managed to average 28 points, 8.2 rebounds, and 4.1 assists per game. His first-ever selection to the All-NBA First Team that season was so well deserved. Seeing George expand his game was magnificent.
New Heights with Clippers and pg13 Brand
George joined the Los Angeles Clippers in 2019 and formed one of the NBA‘s top duos alongside Kawhi Leonard. His consistently elite two-way play has helped lead the Clippers to new heights.
During his time in LA, George has averaged 24.4 points, 6.2 rebounds, 5.2 assists, and 1.8 steals per game. He finished 3rd in MVP voting in 2020 and has been named to multiple All-Defensive Teams. Even at age 32, George remains firmly in his prime.
Off the court, George has built his pg13 brand into a force in the basketball world. His YouTube docuseries "My Journey" offers fans an inside look at his life. As a decades-long fan of his game and journey, I‘ve massively appreciated getting this special access.
The Legend of Paul George
As someone who has closely followed each stage of his career, Paul George will always hold a special place among the NBA stars I‘ve been privileged to watch. His inspiring journey back from injury, evolution into an MVP candidate, and highlight-reel play have made him one of the most must-see superstars of his era. Paul George‘s legend will no doubt continue to grow.