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This has not been an offseason that Paul George will long remember, at least not in a favorable way.
Already declared almost certainly out for all of the upcoming 2014-15 season after suffering a horrific leg injury in FIBA World Cup play this summer, the 24-year-old Indiana Pacers star is now being slammed as a man without a heart.
According to the New York Post, a Manhattan family court judge has branded the league’s 2013 Most Improved Player a “deadbeat dad” based on his persistent refusal to provide for his five-month daughter. George was recently hauled into court by his support-seeking stripper ex, prompting the All-Star forward to turn to an assortment of legal machinations to slow the proceedings and move Justice Matthew Cooper to rage “he has gone to every length imaginable to avoid taking responsibility for his actions.”
At the heart of the judge’s disdain seems the rather bizarre reality that even though he has never seen the child, George nonetheless has federally filed for sole custody of her in a separate suit docketed in Florida. In Cooper’s view, it’s all part of his smoke-and-mirrors effort to have the case moved from New York, where the infant was born, to the Sunshine State, all because George seems of the mind having her legal parentage declared there would be more conducive to his bottom line.
Despite attorneys attributing it to his ongoing recovery, Cooper also blasted George for missing a court appearance, arguing he had recently managed to attend “press conferences, travel for recreation and ride in his new Ferrari.”
The judge later added “it is beyond comprehension how George could vouch for his skill at caring for the child while disparaging (mother Daniela) Rajic’s abilities when he has never even seen the child, asked to see the child, or offered to provide for the child’s needs.”
George’s PR nightmare has ended there, as he also recently came under fire for comments he posted on social media related to the ongoing Ray Rice domestic abuse scandal.
“I don’t condone hittin women or think it’s cool BUT if SHE ain’t trippin then I ain’t trippin. Let’s keep it movin. Lol, let that man play,” George posted on Twitter about Rice being captured on video slugging his then-fiancée. He quickly removed the tweet, but not before incurring the wrath of Pacers’ president Larry Bird.
“Paul George’s tweets from earlier were thoughtless and without regard to the subject of domestic violence and its seriousness in society,” Bird responded. “We have talked to Paul to strongly express our displeasure and made it clear that the NBA and the Pacers’ organization will not condone or tolerate remarks of this nature.”
The Pacers can only hope George soon finds other things to occupy all his newfound free time.
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