LOS ANGELES – When Chris Paul was shown on the big screen at Dodger Stadium on Friday during the Los Angeles Dodgers' home opener against the San Francisco Giants, he was booed louder than any Giants player on the field.
The reception didn’t come as a surprise to Paul, who smiled while being jeered and playing an in-stadium trivia game with Dodgers outfielder Carl Crawford.
“I expected it,” Paul said on Saturday. “When they came and asked me to that thing with Carl Crawford, I said they were going to boo the life out of me. I told Cat (Belanger, the Dodgers’ broadcast and entertainment coordinator). She’s been there every time that I’ve been there for games and she was like, ‘It’s cool.’”
Paul was booed last season when he threw out the first pitch to Dodgers outfielder Matt Kemp along with his four-year-old son, Chris.
“The craziest one is when I had ‘Little Chris’ with me,” Paul said. “But he didn’t know what was going on. Now if I take him he’ll know what’s going on.”
Most Dodgers fans are also fans of the Los Angeles Lakers, so Paul understands not being fully embraced by every Angeleno before the Lakers play the Clippers on Sunday.
“It’s always a lot of fun,” Paul said. “When I was at the Dodgers game yesterday I was thinking about it. Tomorrow we play the Lakers at 12:30 and the Dodgers and Giants play at five, so it will be pretty crazy downtown. It’s exciting for the city.”
Paul, who didn’t have a hometown MLB team when he lived in North Carolina or Louisiana, has embraced the Dodgers as his team. Over the past year, Kemp, Dodgers manager Don Mattingly and former manager Tommy Lasorda have come to Clippers games, as well.
“I’m really good friends with Matt Kemp,” Paul said. “We talk daily on a regular basis. I talked to him yesterday actually after the game. It’s good to see him back and healthy and excited to get back out there on the field. I get a chance to go to the games and speak to Magic [Johnson] and stuff like that. I’m a big fan.”