THEY'RE more than mere numbers, and there's more to them than meets the eye.
From important dates in their lives to lucky numbers to a happy coincidence, there's usually a compelling story behind the numbers your favorite players wear on their backs.
And more often that not, these stories will either surprise you or make you feel closer to your sports heroes.
Here's No. 10 of our Jersey Story series:
PAUL George has been through a lot over the past year that changing his jersey number from No. 24 to 13 felt like he was starting over again.
The Indiana Pacers forward sported his new jersey number upon his return to active duty in the homestretch of the 2014-15 NBA regular season after recuperating from a horror knee injury he suffered during his stint with the Team USA pool for last year’s Fiba World Cup.
Since being drafted in 2010, George has worn the No. 24 with the Pacers. But the switch to no. 13, he said, marked a new beginning for his career after sustaining a compound fracture in his left leg last year.
“(Replacing) 24 was like retiring a number to me and having a fresh start,” said George in a one-on-one interview granted to Spin.ph earlier this week during his visit in Manila. “I’ve been through so much in a year that I was ready for a fresh start.”
George admitted he chose the No. 13 since it sounded cool when combined with the first letters of his full name.
“I chose 13 because PG-13 has a ring to it. So why not?” George said.
Changing jersey numbers in the NBA, though, is not as easy as one might think.
NBA rules state a player who opts to change jersey numbers after a certain deadline is required to buy all the jerseys with his old number in the market.
ESPN.com reported George applied for a jersey number change before the NBA deadline, but still decided to buy all the jerseys with his old No. 24 in the market.