Posted by Kevin Arnovitz
Of all the dazzling illustrations in The Macrophenomenal Pro Basketball Almanac, my favorite is the one of Chris Paul in the locker room, hanging up his street clothes [sheepskin] in exchange for his game jersey [wolf suit adorned with the #3].
Off the court, Paul is the prince who guest stars on NPR's precious weekend game show. On the court, he's the nastiest point guard since Gary Payton's prime, and shouldn't be defended without a tetanus shot.
Take last night's Hornets-Pacers game in Indianapolis. The Basketball Jones got this dispatch this morning from a Paul heckler [Mike Wells at the Indy Star confirmed the report], who recounts what happened in the expensive seats [PG-13]:
You know the story about Bosh's girlfriend and LeBron? That happened to me tonight. I was out in Indy sitting first row behind the scorer's table, chatting it up with players left and right (they were, however, ignoring me). The P's had a solid lead and CP wasn't showing up much directly on offense, missing several jumpers. He came to check in at around 3:36, and I was in complete Pacers mode. Without thinking, I murmured, "CP ain't s***. He quickly turned around and said, "What? High off the fact that he even acknowledged me, I said, "Yeah, you're lucky T.J.'s (Ford) not playing. He replied, "Yeah, I prayed for that last night, and rolled his eyes and laughed. I was in complete disarray, and said to the man that I had so passionately spoken in MVP support for last year: "You shouldn't have been mentioned for MVP last year, Kobe is way better than you. He laughed and walked off. My friend gave me the "what have you done look.
CP, the passing machine, stopped passing then. He began to shoot every time he got the ball and took over the game going 6/8 and scoring 11 points in the final 3:36. I was standing and cheering passionately every time Granger hit a big shot and he was looking my way.
After a timeout, he walked from the bench to halfcourt smirking and smiling, staring me down the whole way. I gave him a thumbs down and shook my head. With 26 seconds left he drove, danced around with the ball and hit West for a wide open jumper to win it. I thought the game was over, but it wasn't.
CP went over, took a photo with someone, then walked in my direction. I stood up. He stopped directly in front of the scorers table and, pointing a solid finger, and said in LeBron fashion, "It's your fault. It's your fault. My legs began to shake as my star crush walked away.
What did I do.
Indy Cornrows has more on Paul and the game here.