New Orleans Sports Scuttlebutt 3-13-09



For the past two seasons Chris Paul's greatness has been impossible to avoid. ESPN says that Paul could be the best point guard ever-already up there with Magic Johnson and other great floor generals. Barely six feet tall,Paul averages a double-double with 21points and 11 assists. His six triple-doubles leads the league-his most recent put the Hornets past the Washington Wizards. Paul was 11-16 from the field with 30 points, 13 assists, 10 rebounds and four steals.

Paul's stat sheets often read like a overly revised Soduko puzzle. He impacts the game on every level. For the second straight season he leads the league in assists and steals with almost three rips a game. He's fifth in rebounding among guards and sixth in scoring. For the second consecutive season he has his team on pace to win fifty games at 40-23-something that's happened only once in the franchises history. However, in spite of such an impressive resume Paul's name is routinely passed over in favor of the "Kobes", the "LeBrons", and the "Wades" in the conversion for MVP consideration.

But if Paul isn't up for consideration for the NBA's Most Valuable Player award perhaps the NBA should consider him for a different MVP-Most Valuable Person: In a time where the sport's hero has been more tabloid fodder than beloved idol. In a town at times too engulfed in its own reconstruction to acknowledge the relative paltriness of sports. In a small market dominated by one team's strangle hold over the collective consciousness of its community-a market that was previously thought to be incapable of sustaining two major sports franchises. Paul has proven to be not only a sound investment for the Hornets but for the city of New Orleans as well.

Paul is active in the community. He hosts a charity bowling tournament and sponsors the rebuilding of homes through organizations such as Habitat for Humanity. But what's equally as impressive is the fact that thanks in part to Paul's play the Hornets won’t need state subsidies this year.Games are selling out consistently-fan support is higher than its ever been. In the post Dan Dickau era, fondly referred to as the "Dark age of Hornets basketball", Paul has sparked rejuvenated interest in a franchise staggered by the losses of perennial All-Stars and malcontents like Baron Davis and Jamal Mashburn-enabling the city to keep a team that generates millions upon millions in revenue . Thanks to Paul New Orleans has a reason to smile again, at least for a while, and that in and of itself makes him an MVP.

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