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Chris Paul still pissed about Pau Gasol’s pat on the head

Sep 19, 2012, 12:57 PM EDT

Los Angeles Lakers Gasol looks back at Los Angeles Clippers' Paul during their NBA preseason game in Los Angeles Reuters

First thing: You should go read the entire Chris Paul feature in GQ because it’s a good insight into one of the more grounded NBA superstars you’re going to come across. He is as competitive as Kobe Bryant and Kevin Garnett, but he doesn’t let that fire consume him to the point he doesn’t play smart. He’s always calm.

Which is why it was odd to see Paul lose it a little last season when, after a tough game where the Lakers beat Paul’s Clippers, Pau Gasol made what he thought was an innocent gesture and patted Paul on the head. Gasol thought it friendly, but Paul took it another way.

And months after the incident, Paul still sounded ticked when GQ’s Steve Marsh brought it up.

“We call that sonnin’, ” he explains to me. “Like when I take Li’l Chris to the bathroom, I’ll walk with my hand on his head. That’s my son. You know what I mean? I understand that Gasol is that tall, but don’t do to me what I do to my son.”

But that was followed by a moment of honest refection.

Then CP3 says something I’ve never heard any man, let alone a basketball player, say before: “I’ve been fortunate to be short my entire life.” I look puzzled, and he explains. “There’s only one position I’ve ever had to play, and that’s point guard. So I’ve always had to be that leader. And that was my job: you know, to talk.” CP3 is looking me straight in the eye. “I’m a big-time people person, too. Like, I love people. I hate to be by myself.” He repeats the phrase to himself, quieter each time: “I hate to be by myself. I hate to be by myself. I hate to be by myself.”

Paul is going to have a lot of people pulling at him this season — he is a free agent next summer, and while the Clippers may be in the driver’s seat to keep him nothing is certain. Paul likes Los Angeles, but he’s not Hollywood. He’s going to make the decision next summer that is best for his family first and him as well.

Really, just go read the GQ piece and you’ll get a sense of the man and how he’s going to handle free agency with a calm precision. Just like he does on the court.

  1. omniusprime - Sep 21, 2012 at 9:06 AM

    What a little crybaby Chrissy Paul is. Kurt you’re dead wrong about Pauly Girl being well grounded, if that little incident with Gasoil still has the little crybaby whining about it that proves how ungrounded and unhinged the little man is. Since he’s on the loser Clippers he’ll be well grounded in the playoffs while the Lakers soar to another championship. Go Lakers!

  2. paulhargis53 - Sep 21, 2012 at 10:18 AM

    You do that to your son in a guiding, fatherly way, our own fathers did that to us. It’s like if you’re walking with your kid and he’s going in the wrong direction, you touch his head, or son him in the direction you want him to go. He took offense to Pau treating him like a son.

    It’s not hypocrisy, you’re supposed to son a son. That you don’t get the difference and continue to argue this speaks volumes of your intelligence level.

    He thought Pau was being condescending, which he was. That’s what he’s taking issue with.
    Comparing what Paul does with son and what Pau did to Paul is idiotic.

    I do consider the source though.

    You are sorely lacking in comprehension. How have you made it this far in life?

    • Foul Dwimmerlaik - Sep 22, 2012 at 4:00 AM

      Spot on, on your explanation. My thoughts too. Although it would look like more on patronizing than condescending.

    • jolink653 - Sep 22, 2012 at 10:15 AM

      If Pau was American then yes, I’d say you and Chris Paul were right that he was doing it to be condescending but in Europe gestures like that are very common and meant to cheer someone up….Europeans are big on touching others to express emotions or to make someone feel better whereas here in the U.S. we all have a personal bubble that we don’t want violated by someone we don’t know that well…I’m not by any means a Pau Gasol or Lakers fan but I think he did that to be empathetic and to kinda say Cheer Up to Chris Paul

    • namriverrat69 - Feb 17, 2013 at 10:32 PM

      This is all so much BS. I see players from the same teams rubbing heads all the time after a great play. I seriously doubt Gasol has a racist bone in his body. CP3 had just lost a close game. He was pissed about losing and took what ever shot he could at the Gasol & the Lakers to ease the pain of losing the game. So many come to the NBA from high school, sometimes the games look like their playing on the playground. The All Star Game looks like a shoot around.

      Chris Paul needs to act older than his son. He sounded like a little kid and if he is still burning over that, he really is a little kid.

  3. paulhargis53 - Sep 22, 2012 at 9:50 AM

    Foul, you are correct. I’m thinking it could be taken either way, but you’re yours is closer to the truth.

  4. banggbiskit - Dec 7, 2012 at 11:39 PM

    Hopefully Pau wont get traded and hopefully LAL and LAC will meet this year in the playoffs. That would be fun.

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