Q&A: Chris Paul

Posted by Unknown on Wednesday, October 22, 2014 with No comments
Courtesy of Ken Berger

CBSSports.com: Now that the ownership change is done and behind you, what was that experience like and what is it like to finally have it in the past?
Chris Paul: It's great to have it in the past. I think the best thing about it is, now it's all about the future. Our team is excited; our organization is excited. Mr. Ballmer has been unbelievable, letting everybody know that there are great days ahead.
CBSSports.com: If you could describe your new owner in one word, what would it be?
Paul: Enthusiastic.
CBSSports.com: He's a little nuts, too. But in a good way.
Paul: I really like him. From my own personal experience, I had an opportunity to play golf with him once this summer and our team had dinner with him.
CBSSports.com: Can he play?
Paul: He can. Yeah, he can.
CBSSports.com: Has Adam Silver gained any cred or points with the players for how he dealt with that whole situation?
Paul: I don't know. Knowing Adam, I don't think he does anything to gain some points or some cred. I think he definitely has our respect. I've said this before: One of the best things about Adam so far has been the dialogue. At times, we differ on different things, but just to have that dialogue, I think helps.
CBSSports.com: As the president of the union, have you taken notice of some of the banter in the past couple of weeks, particularly Kobe Bryant coming out really strong that players shouldn't be blamed for taking max money when the owners are making more?
Paul: I didn't know that, actually. I'll definitely try to look into it a little bit. I don't think guys should be blamed for taking max contracts, though.
CBSSports.com: What about when fans expect players to take less money so that the team can have a better chance to win?
Paul: Do they?
CBSSports.com: I think that's one of the things that really grinds players' gears, when people expect guys to take less money so they can put a better team together, but the reason you have to do that is because there's a cap and a system.
Paul: I feel like there's definitely a conversation to be had there, a lot of dialogue. But fans, at the end of the day, want to see players go out and play. And guys want to try to earn as much as they can in this short amount of time that we have to play our careers.
CBSSports.com: In your time getting to know [new union head] Michele [Roberts] a little bit, how are you strategizing what needs to be done to get players of all different income levels, all different ability levels on the same page united?
Paul: She's been pretty busy since everything occurred. We've had some conversations. ... It's one of those things where, I think first and foremost, we have to get Michele out there to see the players. She's going to travel to see all the different teams, and that way we can start that dialogue.
CBSSports.com: The other topic in the last few days has been shortening games or shortening the season. What are your thoughts on that? Is 82 games the right amount?
Paul: I definitely think that's a conversation. I think we should have that dialogue. A 44-minute game? I like 48.
CBSSports.com: What about this team? If you look at the landscape, there's an opening there. [Kevin] Durant is hurt. The Spurs are getting older ...
Paul: They've been saying that for about five or six years, since I was in New Orleans.
CBSSports.com: I know. Is there a real opportunity here for this team to kind of push that door open?
Paul: Regardless of any other team's situation, there is a window for us. We're one of those teams that doesn't look at what everybody else is doing. We actually look at ourselves. We're in a unique situation. There's only a few teams that can really say, 'We have a chance.'
CBSSports.com: How often did you replay that Game 5 against OKC?

Paul: Often enough. Often enough.
CBSSports.com: How long did that bother you and stick with you?
Paul: It always will. But at the same time, I had the realization that I can't change it. I can't go back to it. And ultimately, we had Game 6. We had an opportunity to win that game.
CBSSports.com: I think a lot of people fail to realize how hard it is just to get to the playoffs consistently. But you hold yourself to a higher standard. Not getting to a conference finals yet, does that drive you?
Paul: Yeah, it does. It's tough. It's one of those things, no excuses. One thing I learned my third year in the league, the first time I made it to the playoffs, I felt like I'll do this every year. You automatically assume, especially that year -- I was runner-up for MVP, feeling good -- and it's like, 'I'll have another chance next year.' But injuries happen and different things occur. You really have to seize the moment.
CBSSports.com: Did you add anything to your game this summer?
Paul: Yeah, I think so.
CBSSports.com: What?
Paul: We'll see. I'm working on it.
CBSSports.com: You played for Byron Scott and you almost played with Kobe Bryant. What do you think they'll do for each other?
Paul: They were teammates, and I played for B-Scott. I think the respect factor there that both of those guys have for each other will do wonders. Kob is who he is. I'm sure B-Scott is happy to coach him.
CBSSports.com: Can you fill in this blank for me? The Clippers' season will be a success if ______.
Paul: If we enjoy the process. Fall in love with the process. The ups and downs. We've got to fall in love with the process -- the tough days. No team's gone 82-0 yet. So when we have one of those bad losses, bounce back. I think our season is going to be all about rebounding -- and not literally. If we lose a game that we should've won, bounce back from that.