I never thought it would come to this. I believed that I’d be allowed to blithely sneer at the finest point guard of his, and perhaps by the end, any, generation. I believed I would never have to truly confront my doubt, nay, my unbelief, in Chris Paul. He would never play for my team. Annually, he was my most reliable source of schadenfreude.
Then the Mad Prophet of The NBA, Daryl Morey, brought him into the fold of my beloved Rockets, and I experienced a crisis of basketball faith.
Christopher Emmanuel ((Point) God is With Us) Paul, I have said some cruel things about you. I have cast aspersions. I have written with malice in my heart. I have sinned in thought, word, and more word. (Seriously, it doesn’t take an SBN search genius to find more of my CP3 snark than you want to read. It will, obviously, go down on my permanent record. I own it. Often wrong, rarely in doubt.)
Chris Paul’s basketball brilliance is universally acceded. I recognize it, and always have. My concern is that he’s perhaps the Boogie Cousins of point guards. More successful, because he seems to be a good bit more thoughtful, and also, sane. Still, Paul’s individual brilliance never seems to amount to much. That for all his ample sound, frequent fury, and, frankly, overdramatic facial expressions, he ultimately signifies nothing.
Mind you, I’m not of the “Count teh Ringzzz” denomination (The Ringerz), and never have been. In my heart I affirm that brilliance speaks for itself and is sufficient. Being lucky or good about choosing, or being chosen by teams, or having the right buddies (James Jones says ‘Ringz!’), have bestowed Ringz upon the Richly Undeserving. Adam Morrison will always have infinitely more Ringz than Charles Barkley. On the other hand, Karl “Cheapshot/Creepshot” Malone, and John “Take Out Your Knees At A Sunday Morning Game at The Y” Stockton got EXACTLY as many Ringz as their works upon this earth merited.
This metaphorical 16 seconds of dribbling around the perimeter brings me back to the point, to Chris Paul. As this is a confessional, I admit that I have wondered if Chris Paul might not be in the same accursed camp as Stockton-to-Malone-For-Failure. I even posited that Paul might be the Ancient Mariner of the NBA; the playoffs his albatross. For sins against basketball or perhaps albatrosses, a decomposing seabird of a record is tied to his neck.
“Those whom the gods would destroy, they first make mad.” - Euripides
Chris Paul often appears to be going insane in the playoffs. His career hasn’t even reached the heights of the Utah Jazz, who, but for The NBA’s Most Iconic Offensive Foul, would have won a title. (Honesty demands this admission.)
I can hear your pleas even now. It’s not the “Point God’s” fault! It can’t be, for many and varied theological reasons, and also, Injuries! So many Injuries! Freakish Injuries! Untimely Injuries! Untimely Freakish Injuries! Woe has beset him and his teams in the form of Injury.
I confess, this is true. Here is where I must confront the stain upon my own heart. I know what it is to lose a team to injuries. I saw T-Mac and beloved, witty, Yao Ming destroyed by them. Adam Morrison wouldn’t have his damned ring without those injuries. This I believe. Yet, it never troubled me when the same happened to Chris Paul.
If this was the whole story, then it is clearly I who am at fault and Paul who has been unjustly maligned by my hypocrisy. Yet a theological dilemma, a chasm of faith, lies between me and contrition for this. I speak of the year 2015. I speak of Game Six.
What’s Paul’s excuse for that one? Huh? His acolytes are always handy with them, what is it?
(Sorry. That was my old self speaking. I am new in this faith.)
Howbeit that Chris Paul, erstwhile “Point God”, came to lose this series? How can this crisis be resolved? How can Chris Emmanuel Paul be redeemed, find his rightful path? How can he find his place in The Pantheon of Rockets?
Only by acknowledging a greater Basketball Power. A power that can ordain the defeat of even a “Point God” whilst he sits motionless in judgment upon his throne. An entity so mighty that he can take the least of his disciples, Josh (AAU) Smith, and lay grievous wailing and gnashing of teeth upon the so-called “Point God”. I speak of the Bearded One. Of James Harden.
Only through the power of The Beard can the irreconcilable be reconciled. Only by James Harden clutching Chris Paul to his bosom can two highly ball-dominant players not only co-exist, but flourish. Paul turned his heart away from the Rockets in 2013, and sorely was he afflicted for it. He has learned the error of his ways, and seeks to change. Who amongst us has not been where Paul is headed now (i.e. Houston)?
The “Prodigal Point God” has come home, to his true spiritual home, at last. Saint D’Antoni’s magnificent “Summa Omnium Sportas” shall illuminate his path. The points shall flow. The fallow Midrange shall, against all doctrine, all exhortation, blossom! The Devil’s Own (aka Golden State, who pretty obviously sold their souls,) shall surely be vanquished. All will be well.
I truly hope so, anyway. I want to believe.
Do you accept Chris Paul into your heart?
This poll is closed
I await proof.
Mavs in four! Go Mavs!