Chris Paul had a nice gesture for the Utah Jazz during their uncertain time last month as they awaited testing for the coronavirus.
The Athletic published a story on Friday that had an inside look at the Jazz, whose center, Rudy Gobert, had the first positive coronavirus test in the NBA.
After learning about Gobert’s positive test, the NBA postponed that evening’s game between the Jazz and Paul’s Oklahoma City Thunder. As players stood around uncertain of what the future held, and readying to be tested for the virus, Paul had his security guard go on a beer run for him. CP3 hooked up the Jazz players with beer and wine to help them pass the time of uneasiness.
“One of the best things all night was Chris Paul trying to get us some refreshments, which was great,” Jazz coach Quin Snyder told The Athletic. “That was a nice gesture.”
At that time, the players probably could not have predicted that a nationwide shutdown would ensue, and that the future of the entire season would be in question. But for those scary moments, Paul did what he could to try and help them pass the time.
Paul, 34, is a 10-time All-Star and the president of the players’ union.
A game of HORSE appears to be headed to a television near you.
ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported Wednesday that the NBA and ESPN are nearly finished with a plan to televise a game of HORSE between top pros. Current and former NBA and WNBA players are slated to participate.
Sources: The NBA and ESPN plan to televise a HORSE competition is nearing completion and among those expected to participate include Chris Paul, Trae Young and Zach LaVine. Competition will also include a couple of WNBA players and recent NBA alumni.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) April 8, 2020
The logistics are still unclear, but it looks like this is happening. With no NBA games on the horizon, the league wanted to put something on to entertain fans. It looks like they have a solid crop of players lined up, and some of the other rumored names are good, too.
It’s not clear when this will take place, but it’s likely to involve players participating remotely from home gyms. It may not be much, but any live sports will probably be welcomed by fans right now.
The NBA is exploring the possibility of staging a HORSE tournament between top players, and some big names are being floated as possible participants.
According to Andrew Marchand of the New York Post, top names such as Chris Paul, Russell Westbrook, and Zion Williamson have been mentioned as possible competitors. The recently retired Dwyane Wade has been considered as well.
Names I've heard that could be involved are Chris Paul, Russell Westbrook, Donovan Mitchell & possibly Zion Williamson. None are confirmed yet. https://t.co/fFcdqD08vu
— Andrew Marchand (@AndrewMarchand) April 4, 2020
Also heard Dwyane Wade. Again, no names confirmed yet.
— Andrew Marchand (@AndrewMarchand) April 4, 2020
The event remains in the planning stages, and nothing is final. It’s an effort to provide some form of entertainment during the league’s shutdown, and these are definitely top players worth watching. There are a lot of logistical hurdles to clear in this endeavor before it becomes a reality, though.
The Los Angeles Clippers had visions of winning multiple championships when they acquired Chris Paul in 2011 and paired him with Blake Griffin, but they never advanced beyond the second round of the playoffs. Injuries and opponents played a big role in that, but there are plenty of people who feel Paul and Griffin could have done a better job of coexisting. Does CP3 agree?
In a recent appearance on the “All the Smoke” podcast with Stephen Jackson and Matt Barnes, Paul reflected on the six seasons he spent with the Clippers. CP3 admitted that he had his “issues” with Griffin, and the star point guard said he didn’t truly appreciate the situation until “Lob City” came to an end when Paul was traded to the Houston Rockets in 2017.
“It’s seriously one of those things you don’t realize what you have until it’s gone,” Paul said, as transcribed by Ashish Mathur of Clutch Points. “I think about it at times. And me and Blake Griffin absolutely had our issues here and there, but I actually appreciated Blake probably a lot more after I left.”
As players, Paul and Griffin were in many ways the perfect compliment to one another. The team enjoyed plenty of success during the regular season with six straight postseason appearances and a winning percentage of .600 or better each year, but former Clippers players have said the dynamic between Griffin and CP3 complicated things.
The “Lob City” era in LA is another reminder that it takes more than a collection of superstar players to win championships. Both Paul and Griffin would likely do things differently if they could turn the clock back a decade.
Chris Paul and Dwyane Wade got together for a chat on Instagram Friday, and a funny story emerged during their talk.
The two players, who are part of the NBA’s exclusive “Banana Boat” crew, talked about what got in the way of CP3 joining the Miami Heat. Both players agreed that one of the impediments had to do with their jersey numbers.
Chris Paul wears number three and is known as “CP3.” Wade doesn’t quite have the same attachment to his number where it’s part of his nickname/brand, but that has been his number as well, save for his season in Cleveland when he wore No. 9.
Paul recalled that when they were talking about teaming up, the jersey number issue was a hangup. He was expecting Wade to offer the number, but that never came.
“Why would I do that?” Wade answered, rhetorically. “That was my team. I couldn’t give up number three. It was going to get retired there one day. I knew I couldn’t do that. … CP didn’t come to Miami because we couldn’t come to agreement on the number.”
It’s unclear what year this might have been, but things worked out well enough for Wade when it came to playing with his friends. He was joined by LeBron James and Chris Bosh in 2010, and they combined to win two NBA championships on the Heat.
Don’t think those numbers are a big deal? Some players pay big bucks to teammates to get their desired number.
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) April 4, 2020
The NBA is facing an unprecedented level of uncertainty, as is most of society. The league is thinking about resuming at some point in the future, or skipping ahead to playoff games. Rather than project timetables for when NBA action could return, or sulk in the disappointment of a conceivably lost season, it is paramount to celebrate the terrific season that was unfolding.
Here are three of the most intriguing stories from around the league that have us all anxiously awaiting the return of the NBA.
The dominance of the “Washed King”
It seems unimaginable that after nine NBA Finals appearances, 34,807 points, three championships, four MVP awards, and a “regrown” hairline that anyone would doubt LeBron James. And yet, last season, after James failed to make the playoffs for the first time in 13 seasons, the rhetoric of James being a “washed king” began to circulate. When James’ adversaries for the “unofficial best player in the world” title sensed a vulnerability, they attempted a basketball coup d’ é·tat. Both Giannis Antetokounmpo, who is the favorite to take home back-to-back MVP awards, and Kawhi Leonard, have both made substantial claims.
James, for his part, is unwilling to concede the throne. In two different matchups that saw James go head-to-head with his most prominent competitors for basketball supremacy, the King walked away victorious, with the crown still in his possession.
Kuz crowned the King pic.twitter.com/Q9UMf5aZE9
— ESPN (@espn) March 8, 2020
While it is excessive to place an extensive amount of importance on one regular-season game, this is not a new development; James has been on a mission since the start of the season. James is leading the NBA in assists for the first time in his storied career and has the Lakers atop of the Western Conference standings.
While it is easy to marvel at the individual numbers and accolades that James has put up over the years, his durability is sometimes forgotten. As the miles on his body continue to pile up, James shows no signs of slowing down. Antetokounmpo or Leonard may have their day soon, but for now, LeBron James remains the “King” of basketball royalty.
Chris Paul was linked to the New York Knicks in a recent report, and he was asked about the rumor on Friday.
On Thursday, a report from former Knicks reporter Frank Isola said the team would look into trading for Paul this offseason. The report was based on how well CP3 has done in Oklahoma City this year and the fact that few teams would have interest in acquiring an aging point guard making $85 million the next two seasons. The Knicks have money and a need for leadership, which would theoretically make him an option. It doesn’t hurt that they’re now being run by CP3’s former agent Leon Rose.
So what does Paul think? He essentially brushed the rumor aside, saying it wasn’t his concern.
Chris Paul asked postgame if he’s ever imagined playing for the Knicks: “I imagine playing in Boston on Sunday.” pic.twitter.com/a49Fx3ObU1
— Joe Mussatto (@joe_mussatto) March 7, 2020
“I imagine playing in Boston on Sunday, that’s the only thing I think about. Shoot, I haven’t seen my kids since All-Star. Might not see them until April. That’s the only thing that’s on my mind,” Paul said.
That’s a great answer from Paul, and probably the best way to respond to a trade rumor.
The matter is really out of his hands. He went to OKC even though it wasn’t a preferable destination for him, and both he and the team have thrived. That’s a real tribute to his abilities. The one thing we know about him is that he won’t be opting out of his contract, so he’ll probably go anywhere that he is sent.