Wednesday, September 19, 2012
Chris Paul on family
By Henry Abbott
GQ assigned Steve Marsh to do a story on Chris Paul, and Paul invited the writer to hang out with him for a bit.
Only, instead of inviting Marsh to his Bel Air mansion, but to his parent's wedding anniversary in a North Carolina banquet hall.
Marsh took it as a calculated move: "I get it, dude. You haven't gone Hollywood."
That is, until he spent more time with Paul and his big, warm family, talking to his dad about coaching him in middle school (he asked too many questions), seeing how Chris relates to his wife (she rolls her eyes at his constant jokes) and seeing the snappy lines with everybody else (a young cousin sports a Johnny Cash t-shirt, Chris says not because he likes or knows about the singer, but because he likes the word "cash").
After all that, Marsh concludes it's something else. Something friendlier.
Sitting at the bar, it dawns on me that Paul's decision to invite me here for this day, for this event, was not calculated in quite the way I had thought. He's not pulling a con, not trying to prove anything. He just wants the people he loves to be in this story.
"I realize that I'm not going to be doing interviews for the cover of GQ for the rest of my life, know what I mean? I'm on TV because I play basketball really well. But when all this is over with—say something crazy happens, God forbid, and I can't perform anymore. All those people that were in there? They're still gonna be there."
That's how the article ends. Gives you a warm feeling, right?
There is one other note about how he relates to family. Paul explains that SportsCenter-leading dust-up he had with Pau Gasol last season. Marsh writes:
I notice I'm a few inches taller than Paul, who is 27, and it reminds me of the time last season when CP3 lost his cool: In the waning seconds of a close game, Lakers seven-footer Pau Gasol gently patted CP3 on the head after the two had exchanged words. Paul's ensuing freak-out led SportsCenter that night. Gasol made a tepid apology; six months later, Paul is still annoyed. "We call that sonnin', " he explains to me. "Like when I take Li'l Chris to the bathroom, I'll walk with my hand on his head. That's my son. You know what I mean? I understand that Gasol is that tall, but don't do to me what I do to my son."