Indiana Pacers All-Star forward Paul George, who suffered a compound fracture injury on Aug. 2 during a Team USA scrimmage game, has switched his NBA jersey number from 24 to 13 in order to go by the nickname "PG-13."
Indiana Pacers All-Star forward Paul George will now be known as "PG-13."
This is because George switched his jersey number from 24 to 13, per ESPN's Darren Rovell:
"Despite Paul George's absence, the Indiana Pacers will surely sell some of his jerseys this upcoming season, but they will bear a different number.
"George applied for and was granted the right to switch from No. 24 to No. 13, sources told ESPN.com.
"Because George applied for the change before the March deadline, he doesn't have to pay for the remaining old No. 24s on the market. Sources, however, said he still elected to do so.
"Per league rules, a player who changes jersey numbers on the same team must buy up all the of the old jerseys on the market.
"The idea might have come from ESPN's Bill Simmons, who first mentioned the idea on Grantland in May 2013.
"'By the way, I have some advice that will help Paul George become a household name,' Simmons wrote. '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.'
"George liked the idea when asked about it on Jimmy Kennel in January. 'That's got a ring to it, PG-13,' George said at the same time.
"He has been dropping hints of the change to fans. Over the past month, he has tweeted trece, which means 13 in Spanish, seven times.
"George finished last season 15th in the league in jersey sales, according to sales at the NBA Store in New York City and the online NBA Store.
"Ironically, George wore No. 24 because of Kobe Bryant, who in 2006 changed his number to 24 from No. 8.
"The switch will be the second-most high-profile number switch in the league next season. LeBron James, of course, has changed his number from 6 back to 23, but he did not have to file for a change because he switched teams.
"George suffered a compound fracture to his right leg during a Team USA scrimmage earlier this month."
In a separate ESPN blog, Rovell says George's injury will cost the Indiana Pacers approximately $17.5 million:
"Losing Paul George has taken an emotional toll on the Pacers and their fans, and although it might be far from his mind now, owner Herb Simon will also take a financial hit from the injury to the tune of an estimated $17.5 million.
"ESPN.com spoke to team and league executives to help estimate the fiscal damage from George breaking his leg and perhaps missing the entire season. Here is what they came up with.
"First, let's start with paying George himself. He is owed $15.8 million for the season. The NBA's insurance policy allows a team to recoup 80 percent of a player's salary once that player has missed 41 consecutive games with the same injury.
"Starting at Game 42, the Pacers will get back $154,146 per game missed for George, per the terms of the league's insurance policy. That adds up to $6.32 million. So assuming George misses the entire regular season, the Pacers will be out $9.48 million on George's salary alone.
"Then there's ticket sales. FiveThirtyEight's Nate Silver projects that without George, the team will go six games over .500 (44-38). So looking at Indiana's historical attendance based on that record, it can be assumed that the team will host at least 1,500 fewer fans per game, which equals about $2.5 million in ticket sales. Then tack on roughly $600,000 in lost merchandise and concession sales.
"The bigger ticket loss will be playing in fewer playoff games at home, assuming the Pacers won't advance as far as they would have if they had George. Let's assume the Pacers now get only two playoff home games instead of advancing to at least the Eight Conference finals and getting eight.
"At an average of $750,000 per game in net profit, that's $4.5 million. On the positive side, NBA sources confirm that the Pacers secured most of the high-end suite renewals in the run up to the playoffs last season, meaning the big dollars there are protected from George's injury.
"Finally, there's a drop of $500,000 in sponsorship and marketing due to the fact that a little of the buzz is gone from Indy.
"The total estimated cost for the loss of George this season: $17,580,000."
The 24-year-old George has averaged 15.3 points, 6.1 rebounds and 2.9 assists in 286 career regular-season games, per ESPN stats.
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