Spurs' Jeff Pendergraph legally changes last name

Jeff Pendergraph has been in the NBA for three seasons. He's played for the Blazers and Pacers, and just signed a two-year deal with the Spurs this summer. 

Jeff Pendergraph doesn't exist anymore, though. Because he's Jeff Ayres now. I'll let the San Antonio Express-News take it from here:

Last month, Pendergraph walked into a courthouse in downtown Phoenix, his wife Raneem and newborn daughter Naomi in tow.

He walked out with a new name — Jeff Ayres. Ayres is family name of his biological father, James. It replaces the surname of a stepfather who hasn't been in the picture since the player formerly known Jeff Pendergraph was in high school.

For the 26-year-old veteran of three NBA seasons, the journey from Pendergraph to Ayres was in some ways as simple as filling out a thick stack of paperwork and filing it with an Arizona judge. It was also a complicated decision, with a complex back story, one that tests the traditional definitions of blood and family.

“I didn't know who my dad was until I was a senior in high school,” Jeff Ayres said Wednesday, during a break from pickup games as the Spurs' practice gym.

He was born Jeff Orcutt, using his mother LaDona's maiden name, and became Pendergraph in elementary school when she married.

It's a pretty great story. Ayres now has a relationship with his biological father and when he saw his new nameplate in the locker room, he took a picture and sent it to him. 

But next season, when you're watching the Spurs and see No. 29 with "Ayres" on his back and you say to yourself, "Man, that looks a lot like Jeff Pendergraph," now you know. 

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