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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. afirst916 - Sep 19, 2012 at 1:16 PM

    You call it sonnin, everyone else calls it Napoleon complex.

    • Mr. Wright 212 - Sep 19, 2012 at 1:28 PM


    • nbascreed - Sep 19, 2012 at 1:29 PM


      In fact it is widely known as sonnin’ to those inured to the less glamorous side of pickup and playground hoops.

  2. Mr. Wright 212 - Sep 19, 2012 at 1:30 PM

    “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.”


    At any rate, I’ve never liked Chris Paul.

  3. metalhead65 - Sep 19, 2012 at 1:35 PM

    I sue gasol as well as the test of the world had heard of “sonn’n and did the pat to dis you. Seriously is there nothing anyone can say or do that somebody does not find offensive these days? Get over yourself and stop inventing terms nobody has heard of before&just accept it was a pat on the head no harm was meant.

  4. paulhargis53 - Sep 19, 2012 at 1:36 PM

    You never liked Howard until he played for your team either, now he’s the savior…

    • tsi431 - Sep 19, 2012 at 1:39 PM

      What are you commenting on? You posted to the wrong section. Noob.

      • dannymac17 - Sep 19, 2012 at 4:46 PM

        he was speaking to Mr. Wright212 you ignoramus.

  5. tigershark49 - Sep 19, 2012 at 1:43 PM

    Quit being a baby Chris.

  6. michaeljordanseviltwin - Sep 19, 2012 at 1:45 PM

    Chris Paul is a joy to watch and still the best point guard in Los Angeles. He is by far the best clutch star player in the league and still the best PG in Los Angeles.

    • michaeljordanseviltwin - Sep 19, 2012 at 1:45 PM

      Oops, I repeated myself. I hope it doesn’t piss Chris Paul off.

  7. paulhargis53 - Sep 19, 2012 at 1:56 PM

    tsi: It was in reference to Mr. wright saying he didn’t like Paul. He didn’t like Howard either, until he played for the Lakers, get it?

    Reading comprehension, look into it.

  8. gostlcards5 - Sep 19, 2012 at 1:57 PM

    CP3 is awesome to watch. I’ve always liked the way he carries himself as well. I think the article shows that, too. As far as the “slight” from the Gasol head-pat, the kid is human….give him a break. I know a lot of people (myself included) that get fired up remembering something that someone did that we didn’t like.

    Good article. CP3 = classy dude

  9. joshm5683 - Sep 19, 2012 at 2:11 PM

    I love CP3 and would love to have him on my team, but he needs to give this a rest. Gasol is known as being a pretty nice and respectful guy, he obviously didn’t mean anything bad by it. I can understand in the heat of the moment CP3 getting pissed and he has a right to be, however at this point it was almost a year ago, he needs to really let it go. Either way, it won’t matter when the Lakers/Clippers play. Like trying to stop a freight train with a pillow

  10. jagwar73 - Sep 19, 2012 at 2:28 PM

    Little man complex. You’re in the NBA now. Get over your insecurities Chris.

  11. cosanostra71 - Sep 19, 2012 at 3:55 PM

    Paul I could be wrong but Mr. wright has mentioned several times he is a Knicks fan.

  12. paulhargis53 - Sep 19, 2012 at 4:01 PM

    coda, my apologies. But knowing that explains a lot about his posts….

  13. thebigcaptain2011 - Sep 19, 2012 at 4:18 PM

    Let me be clear: YOU DO NOT PAT A GROWN MAN ON THE HEAD. Think about it. What do you normally associate patting on the head with? Children? Dogs? Does patting a grown man on the head after a competitive athletic contest even SOUND right? Didn’t think so. You don’t pat a grown man on the head under any circumstances unless, of course, you are trying to insult him.

  14. davidly - Sep 19, 2012 at 4:27 PM

    What Gasol intended has nothing to do with it. Paul didn’t accuse him of intentionally belittling him. He’s just saying that whatever the intent, don’t be doing that to me. I’m sure Gasol, being a understanding guy he is, won’t do it again.

  15. dgbk - Sep 19, 2012 at 4:52 PM

    Whether you know what the term sonnin mean or not (that was a very articulate way of explaining something i said in jr high). What grown man posting on here will be okay with another grow man rubbing their head in the heat of the moment? Real easy to say get over it i’m sure most would of reacted the same way.

  16. yonupe69 - Sep 19, 2012 at 7:09 PM

    LiL man syndrome??? WoW!!! Chris is 6’0″!!!! That’s prolly taller than most of you all!!! And of course most of you WASP never heard of sonnin or the gesture of a WASP patting you on your head!!!! Get a culture lesson before you try to name call CP3!!! That said Gasol didn’t mean what Paul thought he meant…. Which of you men here go around patting each other on the top of their heads???

  17. opshuns - Sep 19, 2012 at 8:37 PM

    Chris, quit it with the short man mentality. I saw the pat on the head and Pau didn’t intend anything but good.

  18. 00maltliquor - Sep 19, 2012 at 9:45 PM

    We’re STILL talking about this!? This is just waaay too funny!

    I remember the game when Pau “son’d” him, CP3 just wigged out unlike anything I had seen him react to before! Never thought there would be an article on this obscure moment in the NBA a half year later!

  19. badintent - Sep 20, 2012 at 12:59 AM

    I really hope that Gasol doesn’t pat Chris’s little/big head. I hope instead he nails him with a Karl Malone Elbow in his face and gives him 50 stitches like Brother Ike. And a nasty zipper to match..Chris is a jive getthoe mouth that needs to zip it.Snooping, sonning, all this Euboic BS, Go to Afghan and put on a uniform, we’ll see how tough you really aren’t Chrissy. Why are all pukes named Chris, like Chris Brown, throwing bottles at Drake and hitting Tony instead? .By the way, we’ve all seen Kobe give Metta and Fisher a nice pat on the head for hitting clutch 3’s. Only in Asia is touching someone’s head a real nasty disrespect .Move on and get over yourself, when your knee blows out, no one will care about you or your son, Chrissy.

  20. jerdogthompson - Sep 20, 2012 at 1:18 AM

    Badintent, still hurting CP3 isn’t with the Fakers huh?

    Fact of the matter is Gasoft is a dirty filthy little Spaniard that will get what he has coming. Perhaps another blow through knock you on the floor with a judo elbow just before I Mosgov you griffin dunk SON!

    Your language only serves to prove your petty nature. Quite frankly Chris has every right to use that incident as a battle cry for the upcoming season.

    Lastly, I wouldn’t be so quick to wish his knee gets blown out as your Fakers have quite a few more potential victims than the Clippers. Keep drinking the haterade fool.…

    • Foul Dwimmerlaik - Sep 20, 2012 at 1:52 AM


      16 NBA Championships
      31 Finals appearance (Conference Titles)
      23 Division Titles

      A couple of back-to-back titles (as opposed to some one-HEAT wonders…)

      And doofuses call them “Fakers.”

      So what does that make YOUR team then?


    • badintent - Sep 23, 2012 at 3:51 AM


      Sorry to pop your little bubble, BUT I’m a Knick fan. Not a Clipper hipper.Have Zero clue why you would even think for a nano-second why I would sit with the Donald, No not that Donald ! Donald Sterling. Gasol ain’t little , at 7 feet , 250 , he makes Chris look like a midget. Not wishing Chrissy blows his knee out, but he will someday and then we can bring in the new piece of meat. My language is White English, the one you need to know to get a real job in My World. Eubonics sonning don’t mean sh*t ! Only rappers use it and we all know what happen to Tupac and Mr. Big and another dozen rappers back in the day. They got iced. Ice, baby, Ice. Got love Vanilla Ice “you can kiss my white ass” speech at the Grammys .Sucker MC

  21. sdboltaction - Sep 20, 2012 at 3:01 AM

    An inferior team he wishes was as good as the “Fakers”…

    • Foul Dwimmerlaik - Sep 20, 2012 at 8:09 AM


      Or some out-of-school-youth who doesn’t know what the meaning of “fake” is.

  22. paulhargis53 - Sep 20, 2012 at 8:48 AM

    Awww! Someone made fun of my teams name….. Jesus, is it really that big of a deal?
    I find it odd that you concentrate on that miniscule item, and not the rest of his post.
    By the way, you do realize, that every time any of you comment on the fakers, he wins and will continue saying because it bothers you…..

    • Foul Dwimmerlaik - Sep 20, 2012 at 7:03 PM

      What do I care about Chris Paul’s insecurities? Let him whine and whimper for all I care…

      paulhardtodigest, for someone who subtly professes that he has good reading comprehension (by bashing others’ reading ability), you remind me of the term “oxymoron.”

      Trash talking is fine. Hell, you can call them “FLakers” and I would LMAOed myself. My point being, if you doofuses are just going to come up with names, AT LEAST MAKE IT WITTY. You know, like back then they call them Portland boys the Jailblazers.

      How about the Meltics? the one-HEAT wonders? Detroit Fist-ons (re: Malice in the Palace)?

      Calling them “Fakers” is so lame. You guys sound like those sandlot kids who just give names for the sake of it without giving much more thought about it.

      Then again, maybe you ARE indeed of them…

      Mea culpa, I should have known better than to argue with you. LOL!

      What’s your team again?

  23. manchestermiracle - Sep 20, 2012 at 12:40 PM

    So if Paul thinks Gasol patting him on the head is disrespectful, why would Paul do it to his own son? Teaching him hypocrisy early? For someone who is supposedly calm and collected on the court he sure seems to hold a grudge.

  24. paulhargis53 - Sep 20, 2012 at 2:33 PM

    manchester, its a miracle you can put a sentence together.(you see what I did there?)

    There is no hypocrisy there. his kid Is his SON, hence the term sonnin!
    _Paul is not Paus son.

    It’s almost like you don’t have a clue what you’re reading sometimes.

    • manchestermiracle - Sep 21, 2012 at 9:49 AM

      Paul finds it offensive for someone to touch his head. Paul sees nothing wrong with doing to his son what he himself finds offensive. Reading comprehension. Look into it.

  25. paulhargis53 - Sep 20, 2012 at 8:04 PM

    Dummy, I have never called them fakers, I was simply pointing out the fact that if you give a reaction to it, people are going to continue to do it.

    You know, if you plan on correcting my supposed mistakes, you might want to proofread your own posts….just a thought.
    My team has more titles than yours.

    P.S. Just because I’m a Celtics fan, doesn’t mean I hate the Lakers. I Just detest 98% of the fanbase on here.

    You’re right to not want to debate with me. I wouldn’t want to have to embarrass you like I did lakerluver. He’s either disappeard, or changed his screen name.
    Good riddance.

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