According to ESPN.com's Darren Rovell, George made the decision before the deadline last March and bit the bullet by buying up all of the old No. 24s on the market, a number he had originally picked to honor Kobe Bryant.
Bleacher Report shared an image of what George will look like in his new jersey on its Instagram account:
Rovell notes that the idea might have spawned from Grantland's Bill Simmons, who wrote last year that a nickname change would do wonders for his household recognition:
By the way, I have some advice that will help Paul George become a household name. He should change his number immediately from No. 24 to No. 13. Here's why ... can you think of anyone being helped by a nickname more than Paul George suddenly becoming PG-13? Uh-oh, PG-13 is heating up! Warning, this game contains strong language, violence and a possible heat check! We might have to make this performance rated R -- it's too hot to handle! Let's make this happen already.
"That's got a ring to it, PG-13," George said on Jimmy Kimmel Live in January.
Observant fans have known for some time that a change was possibly in the works. George's Twitter account is peppered with a hashtag that suggested the switch, as one can glean from his response to the overwhelming support he received after his devastating injury at a Team USA scrimmage:
George actually beat Simmons to the punch, announcing his arrival as a "household name" after averaging a career-high 21.7 points per game and leading the Pacers to the postseason this past spring. But a bit of brand refreshment certainly doesn't hurt—even if he is still second fiddle to LeBron James this offseason in the number-changing department.
According to Rovell, George was already the 15th-best seller on the market last year. It is safe to assume this rank will skyrocket given the bevy of factors surrounding the former Fresno State star, including his performances on a national scale and intriguing comeback story.
Right now, George's focus is certainly on rehab and picking up right where he left off before the injury. His health is the No. 1 priority for him and all concerned.
As fans wait with palpable anticipation, they will do so in a new-look jersey that signals a new beginning for one of the NBA's top talents.
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