Chris Paul Masters a New Crossover – into Children’s Books

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Published: August 12, 2009

We’ve had the honor of witnessing a lot of firsts with Chris Paul on our team.  The first player to lead the league in assists and steals in consecutive seasons.  The first player to get a steal in 108 consecutive games.  The first player to hit 4 half-court shots in a minute and get into the Guinness Book of World Records.  The first player to get Bruce Bowen suspended.  There are also a slew of Hornets franchise records he broke.

Today, however, was a new first for me, as Paul announced via his twitter account that he was releasing a children’s book; Long Shot: Never Too Small to Dream Big.  The book was written by Paul and illustrated by Caldecott winner Frank Morrison and will be available September 22nd.

Now, I’ve followed the NBA with Ol’ Yeller-like rabid intensity for some time now, but this is the first time I’ve heard of a children’s book written by an NBA player.  At first, as a marketing tool, I had a hard time figuring out what it gains him.  By the time the 4-8 year olds the book is targeted at will have the money to buy Jerseys,Paul will be as spry as Jason Kidd was in 2008 when Paul frustrated him into trying to kill Jannero Pargo.

But then, of course, I realized the target isn’t the children, but fans with children.  That’s pretty savvy, really.  There’s nothing more exciting to me than when I show my children one of my favorite movies or shows when I was a kid and they get  excited about it.  I’m in the middle of reading one of my favorite fantasy series of all time to my 8-year old, and every time he asks to hear another chapter, it gives me a happy glow in the pit of my stomach.  I like to think I’m pretty normal that way -so if those fan parents who love Chris Paul buy their kid Paul’s book, and then that kid asks for more Paul stuff, they’ll probably get that same happy glow and oblige.  And that means more cute little Paul Jersey’s sold.  And more Paul shoes.  Soon, maybe, we’ll get Paul action figures.  CP3, with Sick Crossover Action!

By most accounts Paul has been rising quickly through the NBA in overall promotion dollars, and this book is an indication why.  Paul’s marketing team is pretty savvy, and definitely willing to try new things like the fascinating CP3TV that aired originally over XBox Live a year ago and continues to be updated over at his official site.  I look forward to see what he tries next.  Maybe he’ll leverage that new XBox Project Natal system so that you can strut around your living room pretending to be him on the court.  Don’t pretend you wouldn’t consider it.

Now – with all that said, let’s have a contest in the comments: Fake children’s book titles written by NBA players.  Best entry wins a cool pair of toe socks:

Or not.

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