Paul George honors Kobe Bryant by choosing No. 8 jersey in Philadelphia


After seeing Paul George flashing his new 76ers jersey this weekend, we really can’t tell much of a difference as his former club uses the same blue-and-red variations. However, what we couldn’t keep our eyes off was the fact that the former Clippers star chose the No. 8 for next season, as a tribute to his idol Kobe Bryant. 

This means that for the first time since 2015, Paul won’t be wearing his usual number 13. This also doesn’t mean that the veteran didn’t ask for his traditional jersey number, but he found out it as been retired for a long time to remember legendary big man Wilt Chamberlain.

The 34-year-old then recalled that the “Black Mamba” was born in Philadelphia and started his pre-professional career at Lower Merion High School before being picked by the Los Angeles Lakers in the 90s.

As George recalled, Kobe used the No. 8 shirt during his first decade in California. “I had to do it. C’mon man, I’m in Philly.” he said on his podcast this weekend. “My way of idolizing Kobe.”

In spite of this symbolic gesture, he did admit that there was another reason behind not pursuing the No. 13 jersey in Philly. He told his podcast co-hosts that his three-year-old son Paul Vuk George still can’t pronounce well. “My son can’t say 13,” he revealed. “So he says 14.”

This is why the ex-Clippers man knew his former number wasn’t meant to be, and even weighed on 25 and 31 as other options, which were numbers he wore back in high school. “It’s good to have those moments to just, like, when you look at that jersey … ‘Yeah, this is who I’m putting it on for,'” Paul shared.

Five years ago, the Los Angeles franchise invested in bringing in Paul George and Kawhi Leonard, but this summer his former teammate has decided to continue his basketball career in Philly. During Team USA’s training camp, the veteran was asked about what he felt about this, but he declined to answer.

Leonard later clarified that he doesn’t have a problem with his co-star leaving to play with the 76ers, but simply wants questions to be about the 2024 Olympic Games.

New teammate Joel Embiid couldn’t hide his excitement over Paul’s trade and called him an “amazing” fit in Philly

76ers superstar Joel Embiid was asked about his team’s newest signing and just how acquiring free-agent Paul George will fit in Philadelphia this upcoming campaign. The player, who is currently concentrated in the Team USA camp, smiled right away before responding.

“Yeah, I think as far as the fit, it looks amazing,” he said in an interview on SportsCenter. “It is great, especially when you got a big … I don’t like to call myself a big, but when you got a player that posts up and that isos quite a bit, you need to have willing shooters and guys that are not afraid to pull the trigger.”

The former league MVP then recognized that the Sixers’ lack of playoff success has really weighed on him, and he can’t wait to take this pressure off when the NBA restarts in October this year.

“I’d be lying to say that patience wasn’t tested,” Embiid acknowledged. “Because I’m at the point where there’s no awards, there’s no regular season or no All-NBA or All-Stars is going to change the way my legacy is. Well, there’s a few things that can change it, but the main one is the championship.”