Orlando — Chris Paul knows what Dwight Howard is going through. To a point, anyway.
Like Howard, Paul twisted in the wind during the final days in New Orleans, unsure whether he’d have to stay an entire season after informing the team that he wanted to leave. Nor did he know where he’d end up.
“It was a confusing time, man,” he said. “Crazy.”
And yet, unlike Dwight, Paul was jettisoned rather quickly, before the season began, and landed in a spot that perfectly suits him and his style.
“The weather’s great, the team has been amazing, and I’m playing with a guy named Blake Griffin who isn’t too bad,” Paul said. “I ended up in a great spot. It worked out great for me.”
Funny how it worked out for Paul. When NBA commissioner David Stern, acting as owner of the Hornets, vetoed the three-team trade that would’ve sent Paul to the Lakers, the situation turned vicious and viral. Stern was depicted as evil and Paul was seen as a sympathetic figure, odd for someone who demands a trade (see Carmelo Anthony, Howard, etc.). But what happens? Paul is traded to the Clippers, joins Griffin and is directing one of the top-three teams in the West. Meanwhile, Stern continued to take heat for … whatever.
Paul is thrilled he didn’t end up in a Dwight situation, an unsolved drama that threatens to overtake the All-Star Weekend and disrupt a rather decent Orlando Magic season. That’s something Paul wanted to avoid at all costs. He has some sympathy and advice for Dwight.
“At the end of the day you’ve got to go out there and do what you can do, control what you can control,” he said. “And that’s what I said in my situation. I kept going to the gym, I played hard and worked hard. I knew what I could control, and what was beyond my control.”
Right now, he’s controlling the Clippers, who are threatening to take over basketball in Los Angeles. They have Paul for at least one more season, but at this point, is there any doubt Paul has finally found his home?