‘Out of respect for Kobe Bryant,’ Clippers’ Moe Harkless will stop wearing No. 8

first_img“Nah,” said George, who will try to bounce back from Thursday’s rusty performance when the Clippers host the Minnesota Timberwolves on Saturday (12:30 p.m., Fox Sports Prime Ticket).“Fact of the matter is I didn’t deserve to be an All-Star, I didn’t play enough games and I wasn’t out there enough. Honestly, it’s nice to have three extra days, I’ll take it with a smile on my face, root Kawhi on from wherever beach we decide to go.”George has played in only 27 of the Clippers’ 48 games, having missed the first 11 this season while he was rehabbing from offseason surgeries to both shoulders. More recently, he missed 10 of 11 with an ailing hamstring.“He clearly is an All-Star player, we all know that,” Clippers coach Doc Rivers said. “But when you don’t play games, you don’t make the All-Star team. I’ve always thought that was the right thing to do, it gives someone else a chance.“Paul will be back on next year if he’s healthy.” “I tried to emulate him in the park, and he was my favorite player growing up. So he was kind of one of my heroes. What happened is tragic for sure. It affected the basketball community across the world and just people in general across the world.“He definitely meant a lot to me and still does.”Bryant also meant a lot to Paul George, the Clippers’ Palmdale-raised superstar who grew to know the Lakers legend as a mentor.George currently wears No. 13, but earlier this week he said he was contemplating the idea of switching back to No. 24, which he wore for three seasons with the Indiana Pacers.“I understand what guys are doing with changing their number,” George said after Thursday’s loss to the Sacramento Kings at Staples. “I think it’s great if they retire it amongst the league, but from a personal standpoint, what better way to honor Kobe than to continue on that number? Game 4 photos: Luka Doncic, Mavs shock Clippers in overtime Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error PLAYA VISTA — Moe Harkless said his jersey switch was a no-brainer.“I think it was an easy decision, just out of respect for Kobe Bryant and his legacy,” said the new No. 11, the Clippers’ forward formerly known as No. 8. “I just feel like it was the right thing to do for me personally. Obviously, everybody has their own opinion, but for me, it was an easy decision.”Like so many players around the league, Harkless has long been inspired by Bryant, who was among nine killed Sunday in a helicopter crash in Calabasas. In the days following the tragedy, several players around the NBA personally retired the Nos. 8 and 24 they previously wore in tribute. The Dallas Mavericks announced they would retire No. 24 indefinitely.“It’s how I started really enjoying the game of basketball,” said Harkless, who grew up in Jamaica, Queens, New York. “I used to stay up late with my grandma and we only had Knicks games on TV and we had Lakers games on TV. So I would stay up late with my grandma and watch the Lakers play in the time they had Kobe and Shaq and it played a huge role in my childhood. Clippers’ Paul George: ‘If I make shots, this series could be a little different’ center_img Clippers hope they can play to their capabilities, quell Mavericks’ momentum What the Clippers are saying the day after Luka Doncic’s game-winner tied series, 2-2 “The generation now wears 23 because of LeBron, but if they retired that number after MJ, then nobody would’ve knew that number. So I think it’s great to just think of that number still being something that guys want to wear and look forward to because of what Kobe did. So you know, for me … it’s about the first reason why I wore that number and what that number meant to me, and it’s just a daily reminder to go out there and give it everything I got.”NOT FEELING SNUBBEDGeorge will finish this season the way he started – as a six-time All-Star.He wasn’t included among the Western Conference All-Star reserves when they were announced Thursday, a development that drew no ire from the silky smooth forward, who is averaging 22.9 points, 5.9 rebounds and 3.7 assists in his first season with the Clippers.Related Articles For Lakers’ LeBron James, Jacob Blake’s shooting is bigger issue than a big Game 4 victory last_img

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