With that, here are the moments leading up to the selection:
|Paul George playing for the Knights|
August 2004 - June 2008 (High School Career): Paul attends Pete Knight High School in Palmdale, wearing the number 24, earning the nickname "2much4u," and continues to don the number and live up to the nickname. In his senior season, George manages to average 25 PPG, 12 RPG, 3 APG, and 3 SPG, showcasing the well roundedness that would bless his early NBA career. (Wonder who Pete Knight was? He famously broke the world speed record for a manned aircraft managing to travel at 4,520 mph which still stands as the world record today. He also wrote the proposition to ban gay marriage in California. Making him as fast as Eddie Lacy and the sworn enemy of Lennay Kekua or whatever his name is.)
|PG flew onto the scene at Fresno St.|
Nov. 18, 2008 (St. Mary's Domination): Paul George has an amazing breakout performance against St. Mary's in the second game of the season as a freshman, where he records his first college double-double (25 points, 10 boards), and throws down "this dunk" to get the number 1 spot on SportsCenter's top 10. (Haven't seen this sort of drubbing of the Catholics since the Protestant Reformation … I take that back; my short term memory left out this year's BCS National Championship Game.)
June 6, 2010 (Pre-Draft Workouts): After having a successful first two years at Fresno State, (averaging 15.5 PPG, 6.7 RPG, 2.4 APG, 2 SPG, 1 BPG, and shooting 45% from the field and 40% from three), George impresses in the NBA workouts telling DraftExpress.com, “Once I get that chance to really get that experience and learn about the game, I think my ceiling is pretty high.”
|Paul shakes David Stern's hand after getting drafted|
July 1, 2010 (Signing Day): Signs 2-year (with team option), $3.9 million rookie contract. (His parents just got real rich.)
|George defends Derrick Rose|
May 11, 2011 (All-Rookie Second Team): Though he received the fewest amount of votes (12) in the voting for the All-Rookie squad, Paul manages to collect his first NBA Individual Award. (I'm sure Paul was a bit sour after barely edging his way onto the team, but I would hope the fact that he has been the only player in the All-Star conversation every year since, other than Blake Griffin, has to give him confidence and something to be extremely proud of.)
|PG pulls of the Vince Carter|
|George flies over Roy Hibbert|
Feb. 25, 2012 (Dunk Contest): Paul George takes the stage at the NBA Dunk Contest along with fellow participants Derrick Williams, Chase Budinger and Jeremy Evans. In an attempt to appease fans, the NBA incorporates a fan-vote system in which they single-handedly destroyed everything I love about All-Star Weekend. (For those of you who missed the worst dunk contest results in history, I'll give you a brief description: Derrick Williams did his best impression his own NBA career by being completely irrelevant and forgotten, Chase Budinger took his token white card and did a "White Men Can't Jump" homage, except failed to capture the final scene of the movie where Woody Harrelson actually has a spectacular dunk, and then Jeremy Evans, the eventual champion, well, I can't even describe how underwhelming it was. Oh yeah, PG only jumped over a 7'2" center, slapped a sticker of Larry Bird's face to a backboard while going up and under with a reverse, and threw down a 360 windmill in a blacked out stadium wearing a glow-in-the-dark jersey. What have we become as a nation?)
Sept. 25, 2012 (G2 Zone): After its first year of experimentation in the 2011-2012 season, Paul George and George Hill reform the "G2 Zone" handing out a number of free season tickets to those who can pass an audition in front of the Pacer's backcourt. (Kramer and I got to do the audition after being a part of the G2 Zone and Area 55 for the playoffs the prior season and relished our opportunity. You were given 27 seconds to perform, and we decided to do a rap, which was a terrible decision. To make a long story short, I forgot the words halfway through, and so began the most embarrassing moment of my life.)
|Paul George dunks over Joakim Noah|
Dec. 4, 2012 (The Turning Point): After going a miserable 0-7 from the field and not even getting an attempt at the charity stripe, Paul goes completely scoreless against Golden State. In the next matchup, against the divisional rival Chicago Bulls, he put up a fantastic 34-point performance on 14-of-25 shooting, and added on 9 rebounds and 3 steals to lead the Pacers to an 80 - 76 victory. In his 25 games since going scoreless at Golden State, he's averaged 19.9 PPG, 8.6 RPG, and 3.9 APG and become the player the Pacers need in the absence of Danny Granger.
Jan. 24, 2013 (First All-Star Appearance): In only his third season, Paul George is selected as an All-Star reserve for the 2013 All-Star game. Though his popularity has still not peaked, George doesn't seem to mind and continues to be one of the best "all-around" players in the league: averaging 17.3 PPG, 3.7 APG, and 7.8 RPG with a PER of 17.46 (all increases from his sophomore season). On top of his offensive statistics, many consider him one of the top defenders in the league and, along with teammate and 2012 all-star Roy Hibbert, one of the foundations of the number-one ranked defense in the league.
"The following game is rated PG24,
For steals, blocks, dunks, man and so much more.
We got half of the Beatles starting in our back court,
Ain't got John and Ringo, but we got Paul and George
George Hill reppin' Ooi-Pooie
PG jumps so high it's like there's flubber on his shooie,
G2 Zone with 2 future all-stars,
shining so bright it's like they glow in the dark."
What's your favorite Paul George moment? Anything you would have added to the timeline? Let us know in the comments below.