Philadelphia 76ers: Sorry Paul George, number 13 is already retired

(Photo by Gene Sweeney Jr./Getty Images)
(Photo by Gene Sweeney Jr./Getty Images) /

The Philadelphia 76ers face a number of challenges in trying to bring Paul George to the City of Brotherly Love, one of which may actually be a number.

Though there are many factors that could ultimately prevent Paul George from deciding to sign with the Philadelphia 76ers, like their style of play, or a desire to travel West and join his hometown Los Angeles Lakers, one unlikely roadblock that could prevent the five-time All-Star from taking his talents to the Eastern Conference may be a number itself.

Sure, George initially donned the number 24 when he entered the NBA all the way back in 2010, he quickly switched over to the number 13 just before the start of the 2014-2015 NBA season and quickly established PG-13 as one of the more recognizable brands in the NBA.

Cleverly co-opting the movie rating, George’s PG-13 brand has graced all sorts of auxiliary items off the court, from video game covers, to a pair of signature Nike shoes, and will surely continue to grow as he takes the next step in establishing his game after a brief, failed sabbatical with the Oklahoma Thunder.

The only problem? The number 13 is already retired in Philadelphia.

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Worn by one of the best players in franchise history, Wilt Chamberlain, the number 13 has been retired since all the way back in 1991, making it one of the longest retired numbers in the city.

While this may sound like a superfluous reason for a player to forgo signing with the team, in the modern NBA, more so than maybe any other sports league, branding is exceedingly important when establishing oneself as an international superstar.

Though Jordan did play in number 45 for shorts stretch back in 1995, and LeBron famously switched to six when he played four seasons with the Miami Heat, both of these players have incredibly recognizable logos and for Paul, his logo features his number.

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Now granted, there are always ways to work around these kind of situations, as the Chamberlain family could give George their blessing and temporarily unretiring the number for his use, but just because they could doesn’t mean they should.

Wilt was one of the best players to ever suit up in the NBA, famously scoring 100 points in a game in Hershey PA, and owning a number of records that will likely never be wiped off the NBA record book, is that really a legacy that George wants to so closely associate himself with? The whole reason George is planning on making a move to a new team is so he can finally establish a winning culture as a focal point for his own franchise, not to chase the ghost of one of the league’s bygone superstars.

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While only time will tell where George ultimately decides to take his talents next, don’t be shocked if he’s still wearing a number 13 on his new team, a team that will almost certainly not be the Philadelphia 76ers.