by Phillip Barnett / @imsohideous
On Wednesday night, Chris Paul helped lead the Los Angeles Clippers to a win over the Miami Heat with a 27-point, 11-assist performance. The following afternoon, fans lined the walls of the House of Hoops in the Beverley Center for a chance to see the point guard, and Hollywood’s newest shining star, talk about his latest signature shoe, the Jordan Brand CP3.V.
“You know, it’s still surreal,” said Paul on his move to Los Angeles. “But to me the biggest difference is that in New Orleans, it was a two-minute drive from my house to the arena. Here, it may be 45 minutes to an hour.
“But for me, everywhere I’ve gone, no matter where I’ve been, I’ve always had the same support system. If you look over here, you see my momma, my daddy, my brother, my wife—that’s what makes the transition easier for me.”
To get the fans in attendance acquainted with the new shoe, comedian Cedric the Entertainer hosted a Q+A session with Paul.
“CP3 is a real good dude, I’ve been knowing him for many years,” said Cedric. “And like I said, he’s just a quality individual and an amazing talent. I’ve been down with Brand Jordan for many years, so when they called me to come out it was a no-brainer. I’m just glad I was the one to be here to come help launch the new shoe.”
One the new shoe, Paul discussed some of the details that might have gone unnoticed otherwise.
“If you look at the cutouts in the shoe, you’ll notice that there are 61 of them, and this represents my late grandfather who passed away at that age,” said CP3 on the design of the new shoe.
Other details include the area code from his home town (366) on the tips of all of the shoe laces; a series of dots—nine, 10 and 11—on the back of his left shoe that represents the date of his wedding (September 9, 2011); a similar series of dots on the back of his right shoe that represents the birth date of his son (May 24, 2009); and 10 holes on the front of the shoe in the formation of bowling pins to highlight his love for, well, bowling.
Toward the end of the event, there was a raffle to give away three autographed pairs of the CP3.V. The last winner was a 14-year-old kid wearing a Chris Paul jersey.
As he walked toward the stage, Paul remarked that it was “only fitting” that he won the last pair for wearing his jersey. However, before Paul handed him the shoes, he told him, “I don’t know what size shoe you wear, but you need to take the Kobes you have on your feet off as soon as possible.”
Gabriel Ybarra, a 28-year-old Clippers fan, waited five hours to see Paul in person.
“I just wanted to make sure I was able to meet Chris Paul,” said Ybarra on arriving early. “I’m hoping I’ll be able to ask how he likes playing in Los Angeles and I just hope he can take us to the playoffs.”
After the event, Paul signed a few autographs, took a couple pictures, then headed out into the Los Angeles traffic to attend a bowling event.