Game On: Clippers @ Hornets and the Return of the Point God

Chris Paul is back in the Crescent City and I’m still struggling with my feelings toward him.

Buzzfest has been cancelled for tonight due to the weather.

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Check out the competition at ClipperBlog

We’ve been waiting for this day for a long time. Chris Paul, the savior, the point god, the chosen one, the hero, the deserter, is back. To start with, I want to throw out a few things that I consider to be facts–

1. Chris Paul greatest assist was to David Stern. Without Paul getting so many of us into the Hornets, there’s no way that Stern would have stuck his neck out to make the shot (purchasing the team) that will keep us here for the long term.

2. Chris Paul is the greatest basketball player the New Orleans Hornets have ever had. He literally was so good that he changed the culture down here. He made it cool to like the Hornets, and they desperately needed someone like that, especially after Katrina.

3. Chris Paul is probably the number one reason why I consider myself to be a sports writer of sorts. Without his awesomeness, I don’t think that I’d have been as excited about the Hornets as I was after my first game as a season ticket holder in the 2007-2008.

4. Chris Paul’s excellence extended far beyond the court. Some of his most lasting contributions to the city of New Orleans are the kids he gave presents to around the holidays, and those who play on courts that he refurbished.

Now let’s get to why I’m going to boo him, albeit in writing.

Here– Booooo!

I’m pissed he left. What can I say? I am. I’m pissed that he wasn’t open and honest when asked about it by media members. I’m pissed that he pretended that he didn’t know why his name was flying around in trade rumors, and feigned ignorance at his ability to stop it.

He gave us a lot of good years, but that’s all in the past now. I’m a Hornets fan. He’s on the opposing team. This isn’t rocket science.

Will I cheer openly when he’s introduced/recognized by the Hornets? Sure. Of course. He was the man around here and should get some gratitude for that. He deserves a round of applause the likes of which we’ve never given anyone prior, and I imagine he’ll get it.

But will I silently curse his name every time he dishes a sweet behind-the-back pass or boo when he pulls out one of his signature flops? Hell to the yes. I’ll silently boo my face off. That flopping is absurd. I hated it even when I rooted for Paul.

When push comes to shove, he’s not even just another player on another team that I want to see lose.  He’s worse than that. He’s the guy who offered us the world, and then gave up on us when things got too tough. So screw the lottery balls. Let’s kick the crap out of the Clippers tonight. There’s no game I’d rather win all season long.


How do you feel about Paul coming back? Surely I’m not the only one with an opinion…

 Pregame Notes

  • No Landry, but they evaluate him again tomorrow
  • No Gordon
  • Weather still sucks and it took forever to get to the Arena.
  • Monty said he hopes people cheer Paul before the game and boo afterward.

45 responses to “Game On: Clippers @ Hornets and the Return of the Point God”

  1. I want to destroy them…..but i was also hoping eg would return as well, but since thats not going to happen i want one of our young pups to have a good game, especially Aminu. Cp3 is still one of my favorites but the HORNETS come 1st.

  2. I second everything you wrote, Joe. I will cheer loudly both when Paul is first introduced and for the certain tribute video that the Hornets have prepared for him as well. Apart from those two moments, however, I will simply treat him just like any other opponent. No extra boos, but no extra cheers, either. I really hope that the rest of the crowd tonight does the same. It’s the last night of a back-to-back-to-back for the Clippers tonight after a couple one-sided losses to the Pacers and Thunder; let’s kick ’em while they’re down! GEAUX HORNETS!

  3. YEAH Cheer Pre-Game but this is WAR. Left us when things got too tough. Screw him! LAC team is no different than NOH last year. I’d even go so far as to say that LAC as currently constructed vs. NOH as possibly constructed (David West resigned), NOH would have been better by virtue of a better bench (Jack, Ayon, Henry and QPon would have been something off the bench). LAC has just more glam.

    Let’s stop the tank for just a game. They’ve been giving us crap by losing THREE times to the Tumblepups? WELL, Let’s bit the crap out of them. I wish one of his former teammates blocks a shot of his (without a foul of course) and give him a stare down that says – “Yeah. That’s what you get for bailing on us, FOO!”


  4. CP3 will forever be known as 1 of the greatest players in new orleans basketball history, but I really can not entirely blame cp3 for wanting to clean ship over money, I said this before and I will say that again. As a NbA player your first few years you should go for all the money you can, but when it gets to a point where your 26 or older you should focus on winning a championship before 30. I Can’t entirely blame paul because the organization did. not want to give him any real help. And no matter what happens in this situation I still respect paul and would he do as a basketball player

    • I hate the idea of title chasing. I understand the media really push players to have titles to validate their careers, but that mindset is leading players to make awful decisions.

  5. Chris saved basketball in this city. For that I am grateful.

    However he clearly told us this city wasn’t good enough for him. For that I will never forgive him.

    My intentions for coming home was to boo him. How I’ll actually react will be a game time decision so to speak.

  6. I talked about it on the radio this weekend. The past is prologue. Thanks for setting us up. Have fun with your life and the attempt to get a title. Enjoy.

    I long for the day where this sort of thing is no big deal, but then again, I suppose it’s only a big deal if we make it a big deal.

    • How sweet would it be to build a solid team and do so while CP3 is still in his prime, only to have our team see greater team success and get further in the playoffs than he does every season. Even sweeter would be a playoff matchup with his team and we are victorious! SWEET REVENGE!

  7. Besides maybe we should focus on finding the new chris paul replacement ( If there is 1) But are gonna come close to chris paul and also pistol pete is……… Ricky rubio. I think next year we should definitely focus on getting him Through trade. So we can have a real passer and a stealer on our team . I Think we need someone there to remind us how good paul was to us. Next year maybe we should jus trade J.J. or add another player. Besides don’t you think it would be awesome if marco belinelli and ricky rubio were playing on the same team, what is mine as well do this we’re already starting to have an international team anyway

  8. I’m not torn with my feelings towards CP3. He flat out gave up on us and demanded out to go play for a contending team. He ok’ed, though, a trade to the Clippers, who aren’t really a contending team. They’re a large market team. That’s what he wanted. IF he wanted to “do right” by the city and the team and give DelMonty a chance to mold the team into something he wanted, he would have opted in to the last year of his deal and given them more than 2/3 of a season to turn the ship around.

    Now, had he said that he wanted to go play in a large market for greater exposure and ego stroking, then fine, I wouldn’t have a problem. But talking about how you want out so you can win a championship and going to the Clippers…meh.

    NBA players and their egos are annoying. I mean, does he really think the Clippers will win a championship? If I were a rank-and-file NBA player makings the league average (ie, much, much less than the “superstars”), I would get really pissed at sh*t like this. You saw it with Billups last year when he got pissed that he got thrown into the Melodrama and his demands…

    Anyway, my rant is done.

    • I kind of know how you feel thechosenuno. Yesterday my aunt was talking about how Chris Paul wanted to go make more money. She’s almost 70 so I had to tell her that Chris Paul was making money right here. How many more endorsements has he gotten since being in L.A. that he didn’t have here? Maybe 1 or 2? As far as basketball, couldn’t the Hornets have paid him? I also don’t feel he gave Monty and Dell a chance. 1 season is not a chance imo.

      • This. If anything he could have give us the same opt in option he gave the Clippers, but he bolted. As gifted as Griffin is and Jordan has crazy potential the Clippers situation isn’t any better than the Hornets situation had he chose to stay. He agreed to leave a team with no owner for a team with an notoriously bad owner and a team with a history of losing. This wasn’t just about wins and loses this was CP saying NOLA wasn’t good enough for him plain and simple.

  9. OT: I don’t have twitter to respond to LSUHornet and Mason about Jack’s assist so….

    What constitutes an assist? Does a player have to score directly after he receives the ball from a teammate? Or can he dribble the score? What if a player takes an inbounds past at his baseline, dribbles the whole length of the court, then scores. Is there an assist on that play?
    — Shawn
    Bernie’s Answer: I’ve received a number of questions related to game statistics (assists, blocks, turnovers, etc.). Referees are not responsible for determining these stats. There are courtside statisticians who enter game events in real-time (check while you’re watching a game to see live play-by-play stats). The statisticians use guidelines for what counts in different categories. I asked our Director of Game Administration to help clarify this for us. Here is what he said:
    An assist is credited to the player tossing the last pass leading directly to a field goal, only if the player scoring the goal responds by demonstrating immediate reaction toward the basket. This can include dribbling, as well as receiving a pass from out of bounds. In your example where the player dribbles the entire length of the court, the inbounder would not be credited with an assist due to the fact that the pass did not lead directly to a field goal.

    It sounds to me that Jack’s 10th and 11th assists were fine. As long as the player he passed the ball to is making an immediate reaction to the basket, the passer will get the assist.

    As far as Chris Paul coming back, I don’t know how I feel. I loved what he did for basketball in my city but he’s gone now so…

    • IMO – if you need a shot fake to create a path to the goal, then the teammate who passed you the ball shouldn’t get credit for the assist. If Jack had passed to Vasquez/Henry, and they then immediately drove successfully to the hoop for the score, then sure. In both instances, however, there was a pump fake involved in an attempt to create space so that the ball-handler could get by the defender, which indicates to me that an assist was not earned.

      That being said, Will (LSUHornet17) expressed his opinion to me that this kind of thing happens all over the NBA (I agree 100%), so talking about it purely because Jack notched a triple-double is somewhat silly. Very true, but I just thought the apparent relaxed definition of an “assist” in the 4th quarter last night was a bit interesting and still worth noting, at the very least.

  10. My feelings have been pretty consistent on the Chris Paul issue since he left. He didn’t owe it to the Hornets or Hornets fans to stay in N.O. He did, however, decide to leave us. As a result, he is now the opposition, an enemy of my team. Because of the circumstances of his departure I feel a little extra vitriol towards him and will boo him tonight. I appreciate what he did for the Hornets while he was here, however, he’s no longer one of us. I honestly hope he winds up as a 35 year old shadow of his former self chasing a title as a marginal contributor on whatever team will take him.

  11. Here’s to hoping the Bees played so terribly last night because they were saving it for tonight. I want us to beat the PaperClips so bad. I wish health and happiness for CP3, but may he never win a championship. Or, if he does, only after the Hornets bring an NBA title to NOLA!

  12. I love CP3. Always have, always will. Not only is he a great player, he’s a great man, too. Remember, this is the guy who harbors no ill will whatsoever towards the men who murdered his grandfather. He’s a very loving, caring, and charitable person. CP3 is such a great human being that it’s just impossible for me to hate him (even if I am still disappointed that he wanted to leave the Hornets). I’m not going to the game tonight, but if I was, I would give that man the standing ovation he deserves. I would NEVER dream of booing him. If it weren’t for CP3 carrying this franchise, the Hornets would probably be in Seattle right now. I’m extremely grateful for everything Chris did not only for the Hornets organizaton, but also the city of N.O. itself. Let’s not get mad at Chris for wanting to go to a better situation. We had no owner. The team was on the verge of being moved. He had no help. Y’all expect him to win a championship with Belinelli, Jack, and Okafor as his sidekicks? Come on now, let’s be reasonable. The Clippers afford him a chance to play with great young talent like Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan, which will help sign free agents (what free agent WOULDN’T want to sign up to play with CP3, Griffin, and Jordan in a warm weather, big market like L.A.?). CP3 put Hornets basketball on the map, and he’s the main reason why most of us are even Hornets fans in the first place. As Joe noted, there’s no way Stern would’ve stepped in and bought the team to save them from moving if the Hornets hadn’t had some successful seasons and gotten good fan support, and the main reason for those successes and that fan support is Chris Paul. Some of y’all need to stop focusing on the negatives (that he left), and start focusing on the positives (playoff wins, put Hornets B-ball on the map, donated to many charities, helped so many children in N.O.). God bless ya, CP3. I’ll never forget what you did for N.O. Geaux Hornets! Geaux CP3!

  13. He choose to leave,so my choice is to stop rooting for him. He was out of NOLA sometime before the trade happened,i will never forget he NEVER made campaign for other star tojoin him here. Deron at least iscalling DH to go to NJ.He may leave and makeamessat NJ but at leasthe tried, made news highlights about how much he would like to have thisor that player with him. Chris Paul just stayed in silence waiting to blame the team for not winning…. Hope he chase a ring tillhe is 40 and retire as another great that bolted teams in look for rings just to get nothing…
    yeah, im a sour man…

  14. I still haven’t forgiven him for giving up on the team last year. He played the majority of last year like he didn’t care until the playoffs hit.

  15. is landry back tonight? i use to love cp3, but boo him i will, if david west got booed i think it will be 10 times more for cp3 (after intros and video). hornets are really going to come to play tonight, cp3 basically told a bunch of these guys they werent good enough….go hornets crush the clippers!!!

  16. I love him. Mad he left, but he’s still one of my favorite players in the league. I’ll happily cheer his intro, and then happily cheer when he destroy his team!

  17. I will cheer initially, but I will boo him the same as I do any other opposing player once the game starts. I have more respect for Paul than David West, though. At least Paul seemed conflicted about leaving, and put up the Thank You billboard. West never had any kind things to say about us after he left (f*@k you, David West!) I think Paul realized that he lost a step after the knee injury, and he might not have a 15 year career. I can understand why he left, but I think it was a coward’s move. Why would you leave when we finally have a competent coach and GM? I mean, come on. . . you made it through a torn up and knee and JEFF BOWER as your head coach! It will never get worse than that! Leaving just shows a lack of confidence. I agree with the other posters that this ring validation perpetuated by the media is ridiculous. Does anyone really think that James Worthy was a better power forward than Karl Malone because he was part of championship teams? Of course not. Chris Paul single handedly kept a basketball team in New Orleans, and that contribution will have a far greater and long lasting impact than yet another large market team winning a championship (. . yawn. . .). It’s just a pity that Chris won’t be here to enjoy the fruits of his labor.

  18. wheres the vote for “sobbing through a yeti-boo-cheer, 10 beers deep”? thats what ill be doing. regular ol’ sad… a great team effort would really mean a lot tonight.

  19. Booooooooooooo……Chris did a lot for NO, but NO did a lot for him too. Maybe it is something fundamentally wrong with the NBA system, but he preached community and team spirit while he played at NOLA however, left the team in a fairly selfish (albeit common in nba) circumstances. That will never sit well with me. I always felt that CP3 sounded like a politician when he spoke in front of the cameras even before the trade talk. He always seemed to say the right things but I felt like he was saying what he thought we wanted to hear. It always seemed so coached and perfect. Maybe its just me, but he never seemed genuine. CP3 now just represents what is wrong with the nba today. Players play for themselves and that alone. For most players, loyalty means absolutely nothing. I agree with NOLAhog, he would’ve achieved sooooo much more staying in NO and never winning a championship then going to LA and winning. CP3, you are now an enemy and you’ll be treated that way, this was your choice.

    • The ironic thing is, he will probably never win a championship in LA, unless he ends up with the Lakers. DWest has a better chance of getting a ring than CP3 does.

      Best win of the season for me as far as personal gratification goes!

    • I had heard he was at a couple of games but never specifically in his seats. Someone said a suite before, too.

      I take it to be a sign that things are in the falling action, either way.

  20. I refuse to boo a man who has done so much for New Orleans, out of the goodness of his heart. In this game alone he bought 100 tickets for local kids and 100 more for members of his church. How could you boo that? No one here has matched his contributions to the city, hive, or game of basketball, so stop wasting your energy on hate.

    • F*** Chris Paul and his 200 tickets. I wasn’t a big fan of his bitching and flopping when he was a Hornet. As the enemy now his schtick is really annoying. Watching the Clippers warm up and carry on during the game it struck me that they have a serious inferiority complex as the Lakers’ red headed step child. They could easily be one of the most unlikable teams in the league if the didn’t have such a history of incompetence. They are a marginally better than 500 team who will be one and done in the playoffs. That team is no better than the Hornets team Chris Paul had here last year. They have a little success early this year and people were ready to crown them kings of LA. Now that the road has gotten a little rocky and it’s time to tie those laces a little tighter you can see the cracks in the foundation. False bravado can’t hide the mediocrity that is the Clippers. Great win tonight for the Bees. I thoroughly enjoyed Jason Smith going toe to toe with Griffin all night despite the pushing, whining and flopping by Griffin. That body check was a nice release for a fan base that had a little frustration built up this week.

    • I agree, Paul is a great guy. I think he will at some point look back and have regret about leaving New Orleans, just as Shaq admitted that he had some regret about leaving Orlando when he looked back on his career.

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