We know that the Hornets lost last night, and that the Lakers are sweeping through the playoffs, and that LeBron is kind of embarrassing himself a little bit. But all this playoff business only brings one thing to our mind: Heavens to Betsy, Chris Paul is freaking amazing.
This is not news to anyone who has been watching him all year ... but the vast majority of people haven't been watching him all year, including us. Screw this "LeBron/Kobe is the next MJ" business; Chris Paul is the next Chris Paul, and it's pretty amazing.
We enjoyed Eric Neel's valentine on Page 2 yesterday.
Part of it is he's so ordinary looking, so (forgive me, Chris) small. You look at Kevin Garnett and you know you're looking at some extraordinary specimen even before you watch him play. Ditto LeBron and Kobe, whose ripped, long frames seem almost predictably tied to excellence. Paul is fit but not sculpted. He's the shortest guy on the floor most of the time. He's got this unassuming, slightly pigeon-toed walk and this young, seemingly guileless grin. And even though you know he's capable of stealing Jason Kidd's immortal soul, you're still dumbfounded when he completely dominates a Western Conference semifinal game.
Neel touches on a point at the end that makes us sad; it's almost too much, too gorgeous, too fast. Please don't let Chris Paul be dating Star Jones in three years.