Paul George

Paul George (born May 2, 1990) is an American professional basketball player for the Indiana Pacers of the National Basketball Association (NBA). George played high school basketball for Knight High School before playing two seasons of college basketball at Fresno State. He was selected by the Pacers with the 10th overall pick of the 2010 NBA draft. In 2013, he was selected to play in his first NBA All-Star Game, received the NBA Most Improved Player Award, and was named to the All-NBA Third Team and the All-Defensive Second Team.

On March 31, 2010, George announced that he would forgo his final two seasons of college eligibility at Fresno State and enter the 2010 NBA draft. He made his first appearance on a 2010 mock draft on Draft Express a month into his sophomore season. By May 2010, mock drafts such as Draft Express, ESPN.com, and The Hoops Report predicted that George would be selected 12th overall by the Memphis Grizzlies.

On October 27, George made his NBA debut against the San Antonio Spurs, playing 23 minutes and scoring 4 points on 1–5 shooting. In a game against the Washington Wizards, he knocked down five three-pointers and finished with a then-career-high 23 points. George averaged 7.8 points, 3.7 rebounds, 1.1 assists on 45% shooting in his first season, starting 19 of his 61 games. He also showed his defensive skills, leading the team in steals-per-minute. For the 2011 Playoffs, George was one of only two rookies from the 2010 NBA Draft to be in the starting lineup for his team, the other being Landry Fields for the New York Knicks. In the playoffs, the Pacers lost in five games to the Chicago Bulls, led by Derrick Rose. Upon completion of his inaugural season, George was named to the 2011 NBA All-Rookie 2nd Team.

On February 3, 2012, George recorded 30 points, 7 three-pointers made, 9 rebounds, 5 assists, 5 steals, and 1 blocked shot in a win against the Dallas Mavericks. George was selected to compete in the Slam Dunk Contest and Rising Stars Challenge during the 2012 NBA All-Star Weekend. In the Slam Dunk Contest, George completed a 360 windmill dunk in the dark and dunked over teammates Dahntay Jones and Roy Hibbert.

George has established himself as one of the best perimeter defenders in the NBA. In addition to his athleticism, he has developed a reputation as a high-flyer by participating in the 2012 and 2014 Slam Dunk Contest. Following the Pacers’ win over the Denver Nuggets on February 10, 2014, Nuggets head coach Brian Shaw, called George “the best two-way player in the game”. George’s rapid improvement led Pablo S. Torre of ESPN to dub him the NBA’s most anomalous superstar, while stating: “Has anyone in the NBA ever become better, faster than Paul George?”

In August 2014, it was announced George had changed his uniform number from 24 to 13, giving him the more marketable moniker of PG-13. He then donated all of his old jerseys to his high school in Palmdale, California.

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Career highlights and awards

2× NBA All-Star (2013–2014)
2× All-NBA Third Team (2013–2014)
NBA All-Defensive First Team (2014)
NBA All-Defensive Second Team (2013)
NBA Most Improved Player (2013)
NBA All-Rookie Second Team (2011)

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