Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Chris Paul Day at HP: Human Manna

The following is a special contribution for Chris Paul Day. Your contributor is the Corndogg.

NBA sustenance.

Thy name is Chris Paul.

With a grudgingly predictable playoff season thus far (and yes, even the Celtics/Hawks series skews to the predictable, as Game 7 would attest), we finally have our first, and freshest, hint that something new is upon us. That the Promised Land can be attained. That conspiracy theories can be thrown out the door (oh, but wait until you see the calls Kobe will get in the WCF). That a team that truly excites and inspires both the hardcore believers and the wayward masses can put its imprint in this vast abyss of NBA futility. This, my friends, is the New Orleans Hornets.

CP3 is not only the MVP, he is the new life blood of the NBA. And what makes him so unique is not that he is his own person, but that he has taken the qualities we so love from our other favorite superstars, internalized them and magnified them. For instance, he has Steve Nash's uncanny ability to always get in the lane and make the perfect lob or outlet pass. He has Lebron's magnetic smile. He has all the calm and subdued efficiency as Duncan. He is always ready to push back and stand up to his bullies, the way KG strikes fear in the hearts of his opponent. And, he has a skill package that is rivaled by the only person to beat him out in the MVP race (unfairly), Kobe.

In no biblical scholar, but it takes a very special, chosen man to lead his people through years of purgatory and desolation. Well, the Hornets have been as desolate as any other major franchise in the past few years. They were stripped of their original home (Charlotte), transplanted halfway across the country into a city that economically and emotionally was not ready for them. A tragic combination of an Act of God and Man's Own Folly forced them to be nomads once more, cris-crossing the deltas of Louisiana to get to the sordid plains of Oklahoma. They had lost what few followers they had and were not able to attract new ones.

But oh, when they see that Paul! He, along with his true band of disciples (and yes, they love that kid like a leader and seer), have now crafted their raft and have been buoyed by the fan support, both from NOLA and the NBA viewers at large, to withstand a storm of criticism. "Too young, too weak, too undisciplined" cry the naysayers. "Not so" says the young warrior. And if CP3 and company go down and part the waters of the River Walk over the next week and close out this series, you can bet that some false MVP idol is not going to discourage him. Because he is fighting the good fight -- igniting a pure, remarkable love unlike any we have had since "7 Seconds or Less." Except, these Hornets are no one trick pony. They've got more than just hope on their side. They have belief.

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