Cinco de Paulo

6 05 2008

Recently, I asked one of the better blog-writers out there (DMtShooter, Five Tool Tool) to write a piece on Chris Paul for the CP3 Birthday celebrations. This is the result, read on…

Praising Chris Paul is kind of like praising kittens and puppies; it’s hard to find a fresh angle. The real joy of watching him, however, is the promise that there will be more like him.

Consider who the role models for NBA guards have been for the past decade. If you were a shooting guard, your role model was Kobe Bryant, who has basically spent his entire life trying to be Michael Jordan. And if you were small — and there’s more of us than there are of the latter, especially because we all start short — your model was Allen Iverson.

There is no greater AI fan on the planet than me. He remains, to this day, a singularly unique player, utterly compelling, and on the short list of best players ever under 6 feet tall. But in terms of a player to emulate, he’s toxic. (Don’t believe me? Go watch Sebastien Telfair, DaJuan Wagner, Stephon Marbury, Damon Stoudamire… and the list goes on.)

A tangent: Led Zeppelin is, by any measure, one of the best rock bands ever. They’ve also inspired tens of thousands of other bands, almost all of them unlistenable. The reason why is that Bonham, Jones, Page and Plant were singular talents that meshed perfectly… and your local band with the guy that needs oversized floor toms to sound like Bonham, or the singer with the screech that wants to write lyrics about elves… well, we’re sorry, but the copy isn’t good. They’d have been better off emulating Aerosmith. They still wouldn’t have been any good, but at least that way, they wouldn’t peel the paint off the walls.

So it is with CP3. He does make his teammates better, and unlike AI’s bullet passes and indomitable will, not as turnover prone. Since he’s an utter joy to play with, he gets more and better screens from his bigs. He’s also playing, of course, in the era where moving screens have become more or less accepted, so it’s even more accepted.

CP3 has, of course, other advantages. While he’s had the live body of Tyson Chandler to catch alley oops, AI had the broken-down body and bad hands of Theo Ratliff. The Sixers have never had a shooter like Peja Stojakovic in the entire history of the franchise. David West is simply a great player, and the Bug Bench and other players (Julian Wright, Bonzi Wells, Jannero Pargo) can all carry the team for brief stretches of time. When Paul sits, they don’t fall apart. Paul hasn’t had the carnival of clown coaches to start his career, either: by the time Larry Brown got here, AI was what he is.

But all if this is chicken and egg. CP3 makes basketball fun for his teammates, and the more successful he is, the greater the chance that the next era of NBA guards will be like him. He’s got nothing to do, really, with anyone that has come before him, but he’ll have everything to do with what comes after… and for the next 5 years, health permitting, every playoff season in the West will be better because of him, because each matchup will feature a top drawer point guard matchup. Which means every playoff season will start off as watchable, and maybe go a lot farther than that… and maybe, just maybe, we’ll finally have a playoff run that’s more fun to watch as it goes along, rather than less.

Happy birthday, CP3. But it’s happier for the Association.

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5 responses

6 05 2008
Chris Paul Blog Day! « A New Orleans Hornets Blog

[…] again, this time via a guest blogger from ‘Five Tool Tool’. He explores how CP’s different from other short guards of our generation. Possibly related posts: (automatically generated)Saturday, March 7, 2009Waving goodbye to Life in […]

7 05 2008
uptown_avenger

“The Sixers have never had a shooter like Peja Stojakovic in the entire history of the franchise.”

While his career was not as prolific as Peja’s, Andrew Toney, aka The Boston Starngler, sure as hell put daggers in some hearts with his outside shooting. What’s amazing about Peja -and what really emphasizes how good his shot his- is that every time he puts up a 3 EVERY HORNETS FAN expects it to fall. 62% from 3 for the playoffs – Are you flippin’ kidding me?!?!

Same with D. West 17 footers. Expect it to go every time. You can actually sense the frustration in the crowd along with D. West’s frustration when his shots aren’t falling to start the game. We pretty much start every game ISO West, and he usually delivers.

7 05 2008
kevin

andrew toney is the most underrated player in the history of basketball. I went to same high school with his son channing… anyways, your topic was head on perfect. AI is an unique individual and there will NEVER be another player like him, a player under 6ft who can dominate at will. CP3 makes everyone around him better but AI never had the talents that cp3 does right now. it’s not even close…

10 05 2008
bullet watch

[…] This is the result, read on?? Praising Chris Paul is kind of like praising kittens and puppieshttp://with-malice.com/2008/05/06/cinco-de-paulo/What to watch Baltimore SunToday on TV “Sweet dreams” aren’t the norm for Allison Dubois on Medium. […]

22 05 2008
DMtShooter

My man-love for Andrew Toney will never fade, but he didn’t take (or make) a lot of 3s. It was a different game back then, and the 3 was looked down on. Andrew’s first step was really the deadliest thing about him; he almost always had an open (mid-range) look, because the defender could not match him off the dribble.

In terms of Sixers outside shooters, it’s probably (gag) Korver, World B Free, then Andrew, and a long slow ride down the hole to nowhere for #4.

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