Friday, February 15, 2008

THE WRONG PAUL IS RUNNING

Chris Paul, not Ron Paul (who ever he is?), for President…

One thing is for sure, he’d carry LA -- Lower Alabama, or Louisiana (LA) as some folks we know like to call Cajun country. We suspect he’d rack up some votes in Winston-Salem and Forsyth County, NC as well.

Paul will be playing in his first NBA All-Star game now that the whole country has caught up on his skills. The product of Wake Forest is averaging 20 points, 10 assists and 3 steals while lifting the New Orleans Hornets (36-15) to the best record in the always tough Western Conference.

According to the Washington Post, "Between him and [Steve] Nash, I think they are the best two point guards in the league," Memphis Coach Marc Iavaroni said. "He's got the right people around him, he's making great decisions. He's a great leader."

Evidently, Paul is not just a leader on the floor. Paul is serving as the de facto host of this year’s All-Star game and related festivities. Reggie Bush wait at the bar. While Bush made a big splash in post-Katrina New Orleans, Paul too has been a stalwart of community service and good will.

While some might questions Bush’s motives as an attempt to foster good will to offset various off-field controversies, Paul’s efforts on behalf of this adopted home town seemingly come straight from a good heart.

Through his various efforts Paul has become the face of the Hornets' relief efforts in N.O. He is currently featured in a commercial with NBA legend Karl Malone for the Louisiana Office of Tourism, promoting tourism in the Crescent City.

While rebuilding homes and donating pairs of his soon-to-be released signature shoe, the CP3, to an area high school basketball team, Paul and Miami Heat all-star guard Dwyane Wade spent $10,000 to open a family resource center at Sylvanie F. Williams Elementary School.

The center is meant to give parents a place to take an active role in their children's education.
Again, according to the Washington Post's Michael Lee:

"It's not something I do for notoriety," Paul said. "It's because I want to, most of all. Giving back here is always a nonstop thing. It's not just giving [money]."

On the day Paul and Wade opened the center last month, not all of the children were Hornets fans. "You're going to get beat tonight," fifth-grader Israel Syprian, 11, told Paul. "Miami gon' beat you."


Paul laughed and told Syprian to watch the game. The Hornets drilled the Heat, 114-88, and Paul returned to the school the next week and sought out Syprian.

"When we beat the life out of the Heat. . . . he didn't say too much," Paul said with a laugh.

Paul sat and talked with Syprian for several minutes about school and life.
The short encounter left an impression.

Syprian's mother, Tamsin, recently called the Hornets' vice president for community affairs, Steve Martin, to tell him that her son has been more focused in school receiving better grades ever since he met Paul.

Of course, all of that earns CP3 the TAH classic tag line, and this time it’s in a good way!

Nice, Chris Paul, NICE!

PHOTOS: Chris Paul poses for a portrait during All Star Media Availability on February 14, 2008 at the Sheraton New Orleans in New Orleans, Louisiana. (Photo by Jennifer Pottheiser/NBAE via Getty Images). Paul #3 of the New Orleans Hornets drives for a shot attempt against Joakim “Knucklehead/Knucklehair” Noah #13 of the Chicago Bulls at the United Center on February 12, 2008. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images). Another shot of Paul at All Star Media Availability doing what he does. (Photo by Layne Murdoch/NBAE via Getty Images).

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