We know all too well about hurt feelings, Kobe. It's okay to cry a little. Especially today, Kobe, when you finally receive an award that no one wants you to have in the first place.
The good people of New Orleans -- especially those who reside part-time in the upper expanses of the Sacre dome -- will lend you a tissue if you feel the reservoirs filling today, Kobe. Better yet, you might give a shout to CP3. He helps a brother in need, Kobe.
And (most) people like him.
In fact, on this 6th of May, CP3's 23rd birthday and official blog day, I'd like to share with you a few stories that might warm your heart, Kobe. Take a moment, Kobe, before you break down in well-rehearsed tears this afternoon to hear a couple of tales about how Chris Paul changed the world:
* Listen to a story about a precocious point guard and a troubled running back.
* Listen to a story about a sibling rivalry.
* Listen to a story about two cities fighting over insects.
* Listen to a story about two fans ready to come to blows.
* And listen to a story about how a Chef learned the meaning of friendship.
Take a load off, Kobe. Let me tell you about my best friend.
CP3 + Reggie = BFF
You know that USC running back who got drafted #2 in the 2006 draft and then enjoyed Miracle Monday and the rest of heaven that was the New Orleans Saints 2006 NFC Championship run? Yes, Kobe. The same running back that "dates" Kim Kardashian.
Well, that's the same running back who received a phone call from CP3, who was looking for advice even though he had already been in the league a year longer.
In his third season, Paul has become the Will Rogers of the league, racking up friends and admirers like a walking MySpace page. When the Hornets moved back to New Orleans after a two-year, post-Katrina exile in Oklahoma City, Paul didn't know where to live. So he called Reggie Bush—whom he'd never met—for suggestions. Before long, Paul had bought adjoining, 2,700-square-foot pads (one for him, one for his brother/business manager, C.J.) three floors below Bush's in a Mississippi riverside condo. Now it's not unusual for Bush, and occasionally his girlfriend, Kim Kardashian, to pop in for some Xbox and a meal made by the personal chef the two players share. (Chris Palmer, ESPN The Magazine)See what I mean, Kobe? CP3's not crying over the MVP award. So either should you. He's too busy making friends.
Chris Paul Saved This Family
See these two kids, Kobe? They're sister and brother. Both excel at school. Both are standout athletes. Both have winning smiles. And both have good hair. But trouble lurks beneath the surface, Kobe. They don't always like each other. Sometimes they fight. Sometimes blood is drawn. The girl once embarrassed her brother by beating him in a foot race. The boy once tackled his sister in front of her friends.
But do you know why they are smiling in this picture, Kobe? No. It's not because of the grown man between them, decked out in an Italian-designed mustard seed yellow double-breasted suit with a CP3 Wooooooo! t-shirt. It has nothing to do with him, Kobe.
They are smiling because of the bright light that is CP3. They are happy to be alive, happy to be siblings, and happy to be standing next to each other because they share a love for CP3. Think about the power of CP3, Kobe. Brother and sister. BFF.
OKC is OK with me
Kobe, do you remember the levee breaches? Some folks call it Hurricane Katrina. Yeah, 2005, Kobe. Well, not unlike the New Orleans Saints (except that the NBA season hadn't even started yet), the New Orleans Hornets relocated to another city. Oklahoma City. That didn't sit well with many New Orleanians, Kobe. We just assumed that we'd lose a team that we didn't know too well in the first place.
CP3 to the rescue, Kobe. From day one, he focused on playing basketball, not the drama, OKC or otherwise. You know the rest of this story, don't you Kobe? It ends like this:
And you know what else, Kobe? That fine-ass man in the mustard seed yellow double-breasted Italian-crafted suit reps New Orleans. The man to his left reps OKC. And they like each other just fine.
Can't We All Just Get Along?
No we can't, Kobe. It's the playoffs. And we're not supposed to like each other until we have the trophy in hand. Or until J Kidd is incarcerated and Byron Scott kicks Jerry Stackhouse's ass.
So, when the Dallas Mavericks came to town in round one, and this polite young Mavs fan sat in Section 306, he was treated with contempt. He became the J Kidd/Stackhouse posterboy. And Hornets fan Big Ray was having none of it.
Until Chris Paul happened. And then an amazing thing happened, Kobe. This polite young Mavs fan finished his vodka double, stood up next to Hornets fan Big Ray, shook his hand, and said, "Wooooooooo!"
Chef Who Dat + Big Ray = BFF
Who is Big Ray? That's an excellent question, Kobe. It's the very question that Chef was asking himself while rocking this bad-ass mustard seed yellow, Italian-crafted, double-breasted suit.
So let me lay it on you, Kobe. Big Ray is my best friend. Big Ray is New Orleans. Big Ray has big binoculars. Big Ray is a Hornets fan. Big Ray likes the Soul Rebels. Big Ray is a Who Dat. Big Ray likes to bounce.
I can see you're confused, Kobe. So let me lay it on you again. Big Ray sits in the Sacredome eight Sundays out of the year in Section 643, Upper Terrace, Row 20-something. Big Ray has tasted the Cafe 641 menu. Big Ray has dapped up the Chef in the Dome. These two grown men were friends before they even sat down in the Arena for Game 5 of the Mavs/Hornets series. They had broke bread together.
But sadly, Kobe, they never recognized each other outside of the Dome. And that's where CP3 -- the same CP3 who you know deep in your heart is more valuable to his team, league, city, and planet than you could ever dream of being -- happened again.
This time Chris Paul struck in an ordinary way. By unselfishly passing a tap out rebound from Tyson Chandler over to Peja Stojakovic to close out the Mavs. At that very moment, Big Ray hoisted Chef well over his head, spun him around 4-5 times, until he noticed that Chef was wearing his black & gold, customized, Who Dat Chuck Taylors. Big Ray put Chef back on the ground, looked him in the eye, and cautiously asked, "Chef? Is that you." "Yes it is. Big Ray. Yes it is."
So there it is Kobe. Now you know why Chef Who Dat calls CP3 his MVP. I just hope you can find in these stories some inner fortitude as your name is called to the MVP podium so that we don't have to witness your emotional breakdown with your daughter and wife in tow. If all of this is just too much to remember, though, I'll break it down for you nice and easy:
CP3: where BFF happens.