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MUST READ: A New Phone Number Every Six Months!! The Ordeal NBA Players Are Going Through.


Feb. 14, 2020

Most People go through life with one cellphone number. They receive it in middle school or high school, keep it through college and bring it with them into the workforce. They use it to call their bosses. They use it to call their mothers. It never changes. Everyone—from their bosses to their mothers—knows how to reach them.
NBA players aren't like most Americans, and not just because they're graceful and tall. "Imagine walking down the street and knowing that every single person you see wants something from you," one National Basketball Players Association executive said. Selfies. Interviews. Seed money. A video for a nephew's bar mitzvah. And what better way to gain access to an NBA player than by seeking out his personal phone number?
"People find your number and just start calling you," Atlanta Hawks All-Star point guard Trae Young said of the ease with which players' numbers sometimes get passed after media interviews or via friends. "So I change mine all the time." 
Young estimated that he changes his number every 5-6 months. Indiana Pacers center Myles Turner said he changes his number "a lot," which, he added, places him on the lower end of the spectrum. "Some guys, like Paul George, change it, like, every week." NBA veteran Taj Gibson said he's had "a bunch of teammates who change their numbers all the time."
Paul George
Changing a cellphone number can help a player maintain his privacy. But it can also create a new set of problems. For example: A few years ago, Kings forward Harrison Barnes changed his number for the first time since entering the NBA. "As you grow, some people go with you, some people don't," he said when asked why. Not long after, he ran into a friend. The friend mentioned a text exchange the two had shared—something about a pair of shoes.
"I didn't get any text," Barnes recalled saying. Only later did the two realize that the friend had been conversing with a stranger—the owner of Barnes' previous number.
Other players hope deceiving unwanted callers can buy them more time. Sometimes, upon seeing an unknown number flash across his phone screen, Turner will hand the device to Pacers massage therapist Andrei Mikhailau. "They hear his Russian accent and say, "Oh, it's probably not Myles,'" Turner said. Other times, for incoming FaceTime calls, he'll ask a team video assistant to remove his Pacers gear and answer.
"They'll pretend they have no idea who I am," Turner said. "It's much easier than having to change my number."
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