Dear Chris Paul: Leave New Orleans the Right Way

Published: December 1, 2011

Dear Chris Paul,

Although you’re not my favorite person right now, that doesn’t take away from the reality that you deserve a ticker tape parade for what you’ve done for basketball in New Orleans. Without you, it’s a very real possibility that we wouldn’t still have a professional team anymore. Save maybe Drew Brees, I don’t think there is an individual athlete that the city of New Orleans owes more to.

As a fan of the game and the Hornets especially, it has truly been a joy watching you grow both as a player and as a member of society. The consequences of your generosity will long out-live your days on the court in New Orleans, and your on-the-court legacy should only continue to grow as you move on with your NBA career. We are beyond fortunate to have been witness to your first seven years in the league, and the overwhelming majority of us acknowledge and are thankful for that.

We also realize that the Hornets franchise has in the past not capitalized on having you on the roster. Things are different now, but even if the team gets a great new owner and you agreed to help recruit free agents (two big if’s), there’s no guarantee that the Hornets would be on the level that the Heat or Lakers will be. We get that the grass is greener on the other side. You’ve earned a free pass from us to check it out.

It’s completely fine that you want to leave. We have Dell Demps, Monty Williams and a Hornets staff that has, quite frankly, been kicking ass and taking names as of late. We’re going to get a new owner, a new TV deal, a new benchmark-free lease with the state, and a new deal on naming rights. We’re going to be OK. A lot of that is thanks to you.

What’s important to fans like me is that you’re honest. Most of us are grown up, and we appreciate being told the truth. Don’t pretend that you don’t know why there are trade rumors about you. Don’t act like you can’t control them. Tell us what’s in your heart– whatever that is. We can take it. If Katrina taught us anything, it’s that we can take it.

You’ve given us fans more than most of us ever dreamed of when you were drafted fourth back in 2005. Now we only ask that you give us the courtesy of acknowledging the reality of your, scratch that, our situation. None of us prefer to resent you leaving. We have no interest in being bitter. We want to remember you fondly and cheer for you wherever you wind up.

Please give us that opportunity,


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