Chris Paul Isn't the Events of Last Week

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Chris Paul has always had a touch of ruthless to him, and if LeBron's court vision can feel like one of many innate super-powers, then Paul's ability to slice-and-dice a possession are the heady, rhapsodic style of play he's chosen to master. Steve Nash may have him beat for the raw thrill of discovery, and Rajon Rondo is the dedicated eccentric. Yet after James, no player can manipulate—and make mischief with—the game like Paul. When he single-handedly put up a fight against the Lakers in the first round of last year's playoffs, it was like watching someone fashion the game's raw materials into a representation of his own will. James was most at home with his head in the ether, and one foot likely to slip off into the next dimension. Paul doesn't reinvent basketball, he reclaims it for himself: inch-by-inch, bit-by-bit.

Post-”Decision”, LeBron James represents tedium, a debate everyone tired of having the day it started. Paul, too, runs the risk of turning into a symbol for something other than himself. 

Given the fiasco that preceded the trade, and the questions it has raised about the owners' continued attempts to feign supremacy over the players, not to mention David Stern's sanity, will we see Chris Paul as himself ever again? We can already count on a new set of expectations, of Paul now being measured by rings, not small miracles. Even this standard-issue tripe—the price of being stuck, Voltron-like, on top of a Clippers team that needed this crucial piece—is preferable to being cast as a debate or contentious event.

When LeBron entered the league, he threw no-look passes in the holy rollin' temple of hoops, with Bernie Mac declaiming, Hall of Famers looking on and a choir blaring. That character simply isn't coming back, and we killed him—with a labored assist from the man himself. Paul will make plays with more facility, and likely more variety, than before. But there's a seriousness to him now, a maturity to the idea of him as an athlete, and not necessarily one any career should hope for. Paul, like James before him, has turned into an issue, a crisis-point. Oscar Robertson's game was practically born for this distinction; it doesn't suit James, who was meant to take over the world behind closed doors and lull us with his great acts, or Paul, who for all his clean-cut studiousness, made sure his intelligence was never plodding.

Chris Paul hardly ever stands still. The idea of him as leaden historical fact is almost unthinkable.

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The Clipper's have SO much baggage - that he is even there is the significant story. To NBA diehards, the event of the botched trade is more front and center, given all we know about the mechanics of what happened.

Given what i saw in the laker's series, Paul's will alone runs circles around Lebron's. He's always had that maturity, and if that series is any indicator of the strength of his focus, he will brush aside all of this trade business and get down ripping up the western conference with a young energetic squad.

this is awesome to be able to react to your musings like this. The dopest.

Shoals is BACK! what I would be saying if I thought he had gone anywhere. I'd been missing & mourning the lack of these flights of description as analysis since FD was shuttered, and it's all only wonderful that TC gets to host them now.