Paul George hasn’t worn No. 24 since he played for the Indiana Pacers, but he is considering switching back to it as a tribute to Kobe Bryant.
George originally wore No. 24 for three seasons to honor Bryant, his favorite player, before eventually switching to No. 13 in 2015.
In the wake of Bryant’s tragic death, George wants to again pay tribute to him.
“He was my Michael Jordan. Growing up as a SoCal kid he was what everybody, every kid wanted to be here. I started playing basketball because of Kobe. I attacked the game the way he played both ends. I took so much things away from him, and he made a big impression on me as a kid, just about how to go about playing the game. I credit everything, aside from God-given talent, I credit everything else from him.”
For George, his sadness about Bryant’s death also comes with gratitude that he had the opportunity to develop a relationship with Bryant.
“It was little brother-big brother,” George said. “I really got to know him I would say the last four years of my career. … He helped me every step of the road. When I got injured he was one of the first phone calls that came in and he got me through that. It’s hard, man. It’s hard. I’m grateful and will forever cherish the relationship I did have with him.”