Chris paul is officially a member of the Los Angeles Clippers. His introductory press conference was held on Thursday at the Clippers practice facility. A classy guy, the first words were those of thanks to the Hornets organization and the City of New Orleans.
“I’m excited to be here in L.A. with this unbelievable franchise with so much history behind it,” Paul said. “Every one knows Blake Griffin andDeAndre Jordan signed his deal and my big brother,Chauncey Billups, who I’m excited to be playing alongside of. This is going to be an unbelievable experience.”
“Why did I make a long-term commitment? Because I believe in this organization,” Paul said. “I believe in the players here and I want to win and I want to win now. I’m excited about what the future holds. I can’t wait. I’m tired of doing everything else, I want to play.”
What exactly does “long term” entail? It means CP3 will be here until at least 2013. That Paul, Blake Griffin, Caron Butler and DeAndre Jordan have time to grow as teammates. Blake and Chris have known each other since Blake was in high school in Oklahoma and Chris was playing his rookie season in Oklahoma (with the Hornets, remember when Katrina displaced the team)
Clippers VP of Basketball Operations Neil Olshey kept stressing that CP3 WANTED to be a Clipper and not just for 66 games this season:
“He’s not here to jump on a lily pad for two seasons. He’s coming here to be a part of of the future of the franchise. He wanted to know there were pieces in place that would be with him long-term and that was a part of this deal. … It gave me the confidence to know that if we get this guy here and continue to do the right things, they’re all going to be here for the future and long-term.”
Given the history of the Clippers it is interesting that he decided to skip out on free agency this summer and stay on for the duration of his contract. “Basketball reasons” perhaps? Maybe LA’s “other team” is finally becoming relevant to the rest of the NBA. I remember that last playoff run when Sam Cassell was here. It really was exciting. Cheers to not being set up for the wompty womp!
JR Smith is even tweeting from China he’d love to come back to the NBA as a Clipper…