There are only a few injuries that stuck in my head the same way Paul George’s injury did. I still remember watching the recap of him pursuing James Harden in a Team USA scrimmage in late September 2014. The camera is on George while he awkwardly lands against the stanchion and the focus captures his leg fracturing at exactly this moment. I do not recommend watching this- the clip will make your stomach turn and your basketball heart break. Paul George suffered a compound fracture of the tibia and the fibula, plain speaking, a severe leg injury. Being in surgery for two hours and getting a pin placed in his leg, most basketball experts gave up on the Small Forward of the Indiana Pacers.
A young superstar, leading his team to the brink of the NBA Finals in 2014, was now facing a devastating injury that could have completely derailed his career. But Paul George is Paul George after all – while less focused players would have given up their hopes, the baller from Indiana set his aims even higher. This NBA season 2016-17, PG13 is better than never, returning to his full skill level and potential on court. The Forward’s journey has been pretty incredible and we salute him for his determination! But as I have already mentioned earlier, Paul George is Paul George! He simply did not stop there, but rather took it to a higher level.
ONE OF THE MOST EXCLUSIVE CLUBS
Achieving the status of a Nike signature athlete, PG finally has his very own signature shoe. “Thanks” to the injury, the Nike design Team had pushed the plan back a little longer and used the three more years to create a brilliant basketball performance shoe. The introduction of Paul George’s first model spread big news in the basketball scene and rightly were both fascination and George’s entitlement for such a silhouette. Being the fourth active basketball player with his own shoe from the Swoosh, PG13 joins one of the most exclusive clubs in all of sports. Kyrie Irving, LeBron James and Kevin Durant – Nike has them all. In the brand’s 44-year history, fewer than ONE percent of its endorsed athletes have been given a signature shoe.
Ranking the 21st basketball player to receive a signature contract with Nike, Paul George’s signature model reflects his versatility on both sides of the court. In order to create a shoe that fits that perfectly to the two-way player, designer Tony Hardman was the right man for this job. After seven years with Nike and five with Nike Basketball, Tony finally had his very own shoe to design. Believe me, the name is one to remember and will soon be mentioned alongside big names of Nike design legends! The PG 1 gives a first hint at Hardman’s incredible work and I am sure that there is a lot more to come. The Nike designer and Paul George worked very closely on their collaboration, both putting much effort in George’s ideas.
LOOK GOOD, FEEL GOOD, PLAY GOOD
The signature shoe finally debuted on court at the 02-Arena in London on January 12. Playing against the Denver Nuggets on an international stage, the timing could not have been chosen better! The PG 1 has been perfectly tailored for the player’s needs, uniting George’s smooth personality with performance attributes. Hardman managed to adapt from most of Paul George’s inspiration such as the Zoom Crusader. Since PG is a huge fan of low-tops, the new silhouette was designed to adjust the looks of his fav performance shoes. In addition to that, his idea was to create one of the most comfortable shoes in the wide range of signature lines, but bringing explosiveness as well. Since PG13 is mostly playing on the forefoot, the design team decided to use Zoom, combining it with a thicker sockliner and putting some foam above the Zoom.
The materials used on the PG 1 give the signature silhouette the ideal finishing. Mostly inspired by no other shoe than the Nike SB Janoski, one of George’s favorite everyday shoes, natural materials and leather were applied on the signature shoe. Compared to the state-of-the-art technical features, the leather upper might look old-fashioned at first, but due to the “look good, feel good, play good”-mentality of George, the shoe sweetly balances simplicity and natural materials. From hairy suede to scaled leather, every colorway comes with an unique and high-quality look. Style, comfort and performance in Paul George’s first signature shoe!
- Forefoot strap with Flywire technology loop system provides adaptive support
- Zoom Air unit under the forefoot and plush sockliner provide responsive cushioning
- Full-bootie construction delivers a snug, 1-to-1 fit
- Multidirectional scale-inspired blade traction provides ultimate court grip
Blending performance innovation with personal details, the signature shoe not only features the latest technologies but some small references to George’s private life as well. This is actually quite rare for the Small Forward from the Indiana Pacers considering that PG usually keeps his privacy rather to himself. The number of details add a personal touch to the PG 1, starting with two small graphic features on the silhouette. On the medial side on the left shoe, the numbers 5-1-15 honor the first birthday of Paul George’s daughter Olivia – first birthday, first signature model. The right shoe adorns his own birthday, the 5-2-90. In addition to that, the right heel tab features a stripe as a reminder of the titanium rod used to repair George’s devastating right-leg fracture. George’s nickname, PG13, inspires the 13 on the shoe’s heels. Last of all, Paul George’s logo locks his initials P and G into a bowtie, once again depicting his simplicity and sophistication.
Feast your eyes on the PG 1! After first colorways such as the ‘2K’ and the ‘Shining’, this Saturday’s release comes in the ‘Ferocity’ colorway. The Pacers themed upper matches his Pacers’ uniform thanks to a dark Obisidian base and University Gold accents on the mid foot strap, the flywire cables and the PG logo on the tongue. The heel pull tab and the upper eyelets are adorned with hyper violet hints.
Nike PG 1 ‘Ferocity’
OBSIDIAN/ WHITE-UNIVERSITY GOLD
March 4, 9 AM CET