Chris Paul came out this week and decided he wanted to get traded out of New Orleans. His three teams he most wanted were Orlando, New York and Portland. On the surface, no real issue there — superstars want out of town all the time.
But CP3 was supposed to be different, like Drew Brees of the Saints. He not only spit on the jersey and the team on his back, but a good chunk of the state as well. LeBron may have resurrected Cleveland basketball, but Paul BUILT basketball in a state that hasn’t even seen talent in southern LA since Shaq left LSU. Paul’s on-court accomplishments are many; suffice it to say he’s one of the best players in the NBA.
I love the Hornets — other than the Tar Heels, I have more Hornets gear than any other team, including my Panthers. Problem was, I knew that Paul was going to get run out of town, same as Zo was, by one of the worst owners in NBA history. Shinn is an ass, let there be no middle road here. If an owner like Jerry Richardson (Panthers owner) had a GM like Bob Bass, I have no doubt the Charlotte Hornets would have seen the East finals more than a few times, if not the Finals themselves.
Shinn ticked off Paul when he tried to trade off Chandler to the Thunder in a cap dump, and also sent David West out of town as well. Paul was angry, but played on. Shinn finally was able to trade Chandler for some help in Okafor, in the rare trade that damages both teams — and in the Hornets system, Okafor is an overpaid waste of paint.
So one of Paul’s best buddies goes on ESPN and whizzes all over Cleveland, gets a Finals-ready team and is ready to go. Paul thinks that’s a great thing as well. He knows that Shinn is tearing the team apart, he’s got a rookie GM and new coach, and he could go throw lobs to Amare, Dwight or run and gun with Roy.
I don’t blame him. Trying to pound the ball inside to Oak and West while Deron Williams has had a HOF coach and a world of talent around him cannot make him happy. Paul could get 10 dimes a game by halftime if Dwight Howard learns to shoot free throws and not get fouled in the block.
Paul forgot 2 things.
Cleveland is not New Orleans. As much as we dump on Cleveland with its blue-collar roots and rivers on fire, it’s still Cleveland. New Orleans is a party town, and there is not a male over the age of 15 who wouldn’t love to be rich and single in New Orleans where everyone knows you. Other than Vegas there is no finer place to be young and have more money in your sofa cushion than the president makes. Dropping a firebomb on New Orleans, after all he did there in goodwill, is far worse than dropping a Bron-Bomb on Cleveland — it is still Cleveland after all.
Paul has 2 years left on his deal. There is no reason to trade him right now. If Paul isn’t up to normal, then he is only hurting his MAX deal he will get in two years. The Hornets are going to have a new owner who is not about to play Boogie Benson with the fanbase. No chance Gary Chouest repeats the idiocy of Shinn with his new star. New Orleans took Paul into their hearts more than any city in the NBA has in years.
Wade is the biggest star in Miami right now. Not only did he bring a ring to the Heat, he brought 2 of the top Free Agents in NBA history to his town. No matter what happens to LeBron in Cleveland, Wade can walk on water in South Beach, no matter what talents are out there.
LeBron was vilified, and rightly so, for the decision, the way he went about it and the whizzing all over his HOMETOWN.
So Paul has a choice. He can take the Lebron route, and destroy a region of basketball fans — and make himself as big a villain as FEMA. Chris Paul has spent DAYS in New Orleans and a ton of cash rebuilding not only the city but the thought of the selfish athlete. Paul maybe second only to Drew Brees , has done more to make this city whole again, and unlike most people and players- he has been known to show up without cameras, PR people or even a name tag and just drop off a load of clothes, food or a check to a charity or a school.
Or he can take the Wade route and try and get Roy to come to HIM, to get Al Jefferson to come to him.
How about Danny Granger… who is FROM New Orleans?
Imagine a Finals of
Big Z, Bosh, Lebron, Wade and Mario
Horford, West, Granger, Roy and Paul?