When Paul George was drafted into the NBA in 2010, a scout boldly proclaimed that he would be the best to come out of his class. Fast-forward nine years later, this audacious prophecy has turned out to be true. The Palmdale native has not only accumulated numerous accolades but also established himself as one of the best two-way players in the league. George’s success has, however, not come without a price. The NBA star endured a messy baby mama drama which captivated public attention for several months. So, how did it all go down? All these and more are unveiled below.
His Early Years and Journey to the NBA
Paul Cliftonantho George was born on the 2nd of May 1990 in Palmdale, L.A. County, California. He grew up on the east side of Palmdale and fell in love with basketball as a kid. He supported the two L.A. teams (Lakers and Clippers) and also idolized the likes of Kobe Bryant. Despite this apparent basketball craze, George did not play in an organized team until his high school days. In his four years as a high school student, he led his school to the Golden League Championship. He also posted some incredible stats and received league MVP and district player of the year honours. Following his high school exploits, George received scholarship offers from several colleges, including Penn State, Georgetown, Pepperdine University and Santa Clara. He eventually settled for Fresno State and spent two productive years at the institution (2008 and 2009).
Professional Career and Change of Jersey Number
Paul George was drafted by the Indiana Pacers with the 10th overall pick during the 2010 NBA Draft. The Pacers locked him down on a juicy two-year deal and he went on to reward his employers with a stellar debut season. The Palmdale native averaged 7.8 points, 3.7 rebounds and 1.1 assists as his team made it to the playoffs. He also led his teammates in steals per minutes and received NBA All-Rookie second-team honours. Following his impressive debut season, George spent an extra six years with the Pacers and helped the team achieve multiple playoffs appearances as well as two Eastern Conference finals berth. He subsequently bid farewell to the franchise and joined Oklahoma City Thunder in July 2017. The baller spent two successful seasons at Oklahoma before returning home to the L.A. Clippers, in July 2019.
In his decade-long run in the league, Paul George has earned a reputation as one of the best swingmen in the NBA. His equal expertise at both the offensive and defensive aspects of the league has also earned him several accolades, including 6x NBA All-Star, 2x All-defensive First Teams and steals leader 2019. George’s career has largely gone without a hitch. The Palmdale native, however, caused a small stir after changing his jersey number in August 2014. George initially commenced his professional career with the jersey number ‘24’ in college. The swingman later switched to the number ‘13’, earning himself the moniker of PG-13. The Clippers star has since revealed that there is no monumental or emotional reason behind the switch. He rather chose 13 for an economic reason as he wanted to maximize the endorsement opportunities that are available to young NBA stars.
His Athletically-gifted Family
PG-13 hails from a family of five. His father’s name is Paul George Sr. while his mother’s name is Paulette. The NBA star also has two siblings, an elder sister named Teiosha and a younger sister named Portala. George is not the only gifted athlete in his family. His elder sister, Teiosha, was a standout basketball player at Pepperdine University, Malibu. She subsequently plied her trade in the German professional league for one full season. Teiosha has since retired from her basketball career and is now a fashion designer. Her brother, however, remains ever respectful and has disclosed that she made an indelible impact on his career.
According to George, he grew up playing with his sister on a portable court they owned. She didn’t go easy on him and it became a herculean task beating her. The young boy, therefore, vowed that he would one day defeat his elder sister. He practised hard for several years and eventually achieved that feat in his junior year. All the practice, as well as the several principles imbibed from Teiosha, would later come in handy in George’s career. Another talented sportswoman in the George family is the youngest child, Portala, a volleyball specialist who played a combined four years of college volleyball at Antelope Valley College, as well as California State University, San Bernardino.
His Enthralling Love Life
Paul George has led a fascinating life off the courts. The basketball star has been romantically linked to several ladies, including Callie Rivers (daughter of famed NBA coach – Doc Rivers), Jessica Burciaga (Playboy model), and Destiny Marie. He is now going steady with former stripper-turned-model and entrepreneur, Daniela Rajic. Rajic is a native of Queens, New York, as well as an alumna of Miami University. George first met Rajic at the Tootsie Cabaret Club in Miami in the summer of 2013.
They dated for some months and she subsequently became pregnant. He reportedly offered her a million bucks to leave him alone but she refused to take it. She had his child, a daughter named Olivia, in May 2014 and sued him for support. George embarked on a DNA test and after his paternity was confirmed, he sued for full custody of his daughter. The couple thankfully reached a joint parenting agreement in October 2014. They also reignited their romance down the line. George and Rajic are now going strong and welcomed another daughter, Natasha, in November 2017.