Days after LeBron James’ ill-advised one hour ESPN special, “The Decision”, Hornets PG Chris Paul reportedly offered a toast at Carmelo Anthony’s wedding in which he predicted he’d soon join ‘Melo and Amar’e Stoudemire on the New York Knicks. Weeks later, Paul was said to be angling for a trade to Orlando. After meeting with New Orleans brass yesterday in which Paul pledged his loyalty to the Hornets, Scratchbomb writes, “coming on the heels of LeBron’s move, Paul’s machinations had the feeling of a shameless attempt to exploit a fad that’s already passed…if LeBron is Rambo, then Paul is Cobra.”
You could argue that what Chris Paul did was worse than what LeBron did. After all, LeBron’s free agency was anticipated by every human being on the planet for years (at least that’s what ESPN says). As crappily as he handled the whole thing, everyone and his mom (especially your mom) knew he might leave Cleveland. Paul’s demands to be traded, on the other hand, came out of nowhere, and were seemingly motivated by little more than LeBron’s histrionics
The overall lameness of Paul’s move is accentuated by the fact that he didsn’t have a leg to stand on. The Hornets had neither the incentive nor the imperative to trade him. Paul couldn’t opt out of his contract. Basically, he had zero power in this situation, but operated as if he was in total control. Depending on your perspective, that either takes an enormous amount of balls or an amazing lack of brains.
Paul seems to realize this now; on Monday, he had meetings with the Hornets, and made statements afterward that indicated he was throwing in the towel. Because when it comes to the offseason, no one wants to be the free agent equivalent of Delta Force 3 or Death Wish 5.