We could have this argument all day, but hands down, Chris Paul is the best point guard in the NBA. Even if you don’t believe me, in NBA.com’s annual GM Survey, 77.8 percent of the voters chose CP3 over Deron Williams (14.8) and Steve Nash (7.4). Recently I got up with the fifth year player to talk about Michael Jordan’s induction into the Hall of Fame, dreams of going to North Carolina and Stephen Curry for for Rookie of the Year.
Dime: What was it like watching MJ’s induction into the Hall of Fame?
Chris Paul: Crazy! Before the event, me, ’Melo, D-Wade, all of us we sent a video. It’s funny, me and my girlfriend we were in Vegas on vacation and I got an e-mail that was like you guys gotta send your video to MJ. You know, and I’m sitting there like, “Me send a video to MJ?” It’s crazy to know him now on a personal basis. And to sit there and remember during the video, this is the greatest to ever play the game, it still gives me goosebumps to even think about it. It still baffles me to know MJ.
Dime: Knowing that everyone on Jordan Brand gets approved by MJ himself, how did that feel?
CP: It was real big. There’s a number of guys signed to Nike, a number of guys signed to Reebok, adidas, all that different stuff, but there’s very few guys signed to Jordan and it’s a very elite group of guys. Not on just being signed to the brand, but having my own shoe under the brand. There’s only a few guys – me, ’Melo and Derek Jeter – that can say that. It’s a humbling experience, but MJ’s always been that guy who not only teaches us different things but he motivates us. We all went to dinner the summer before last and we’re sitting there and he’s talking about, “You don’t play no defense.” You know I was like, “Man, I’ve been First Team All-Defense!” He always snaps back, “I was First Team six times” and stuff like that so it’s motivation.
Dime: Speaking of motivation, talk about your dreams of going to North Carolina but ending up at Wake Forest.
CP: I woke up. I realized that I was crazy to want to go to Carolina. Part of it was just that I had been an MJ fan since I was a kid. And growing up in North Carolina, that’s all you pretty much know. When it comes down to the college you go to, you don’t necessarily go to the school you’re a fan of, you go to the best decision for you and your family. Man MJ, the Carolina team and I was a diehard Bulls fan growing up, so the mark that he’s made on my life is unbelievable.
Dime: Talk about another Carolina guy in Steph Curry. You guys have been training together this summer. What was that like?
CP: It’s been a lot of fun. Steph is not only a great basketball player, but a great guy. I don’t wanna say great kid ’cause he’s not a kid. It’s funny to talk to him at times, you know, different things he says and stuff. I just realize, man, I was the same way just a few years ago. I think the League better be ready for him because he’s really passionate and he has that drive to be one of the best.
Dime: As a former award winner yourself, who’s your pick for Rookie of the Year?
CP: I’m gonna have to go with Steph. That’s my guy.
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