Chris Paul Proving His Worth to Clippers
He stood in the backcourt with his hands on his knees and sweat dripping from his chin. This was Chris Paul, sucking in air and soaking in the challenge that he always knew would be his.
It was overtime at Staples Center, time to will the Clippers to another playoff victory, time to stun the Grizzlies just enough with his wizardry and toughness so that he would finally get away from them again. This time, with the monumental difference between a 3-1 lead and a deadlocked series going back to Memphis staring him square in the face.
Chris Paul stares back, and rarely blinks. He didn’t blink when it was time to embrace this challenge — transforming the NBA’s purgatory into a legitimate, functioning basketball team — and he didn’t blink Monday night.
And just as it was back in December when the trade wheel spun, landed on Lakers, spun again and landed on Clippers, Paul got the kind of performance from Blake Griffin that lured him here in the first place.
They sat side by side at the interview table Monday night after beating the Grizzlies 101-97 in OT to take a 3-1 series lead, Paul’s son sitting on his lap toying with his iPhone. Paul was asked if he knew how special Griffin would be, if he knew he would be a sidekick worthy of doubling down on the improbable task of winning playoff games in Clipperland.