Paul George’s troublesome 2014 has taken another turn for the worse.
A Manhattan judge has criticized the Indiana Pacers’ All-Star guard/forward for his role in an ongoing paternity petition, according to numerous media reports.
YAHOO!Sports reported Wednesday that Justice Matthew Cooper wrote, “Even though it is all but certain that (George) is the father of the 5-month-old baby girl at the center of this case, he has gone to every length imaginable to avoid taking responsibility for his actions.”
Cooper later wrote in a 10-page decision, “It is beyond comprehension how (George) could vouch for his skill at caring for the child while disparaging (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 attorney, C. Anthony Mulrain, disagreed with the judge’s position.
“Paul is a good kid and he's far away from being a deadbeat dad,” Mulrain told The Indianapolis Star. "What deadbeat dads do is run away from their responsibilities. (George) is trying to embrace them.”
Rajic cited in May that a private paternity test allegedly confirmed George as the father of her child. The legal filing in Manhattan Supreme Court in May also said her lawyers told the New York Daily News that George had met the baby and paid Rajic’s medical bills.
The Star reports George’s lawyers wanted to move the trial to Florida, where they met, and requested a court-ordered second paternity test to confirm Rajic’s claim. If confirmed, according to the newspaper report, George would reportedly seek sole custody of the child.
George is scheduled to appear in New York court next month.
George isn’t expected to play this NBA season after breaking his right tibia and fibula in a gruesome injury during a Team USA scrimmage on Aug. 1 in Las Vegas.
Just two weeks ago, he caused a public outcry when he supported suspended Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice on Twitter. The tweets suggested that Rice should be allowed to play, despite a domestic violence incident, and that if Rice’s then-fiancee didn’t have a problem with what happened, neither should anyone else.
The Pacers immediately issued a press release with President Larry Bird denouncing George’s Twitter assertions as well as the player’s apology.