CP3 made his return to Staples Center last night and was treated to a wonderful tribute video that exhibited the love and appreciation that the Clippers organization have for their former point guard. That, my friends, is where the pleasantries ended. Good, that shit's boring and this is Hollywood! At least they were playing in Hollywood... or L.A. but close enough. We need DRAMA!
After the lovely start to the night things got spicy. It turns out there are buckets of bad blood between Chris Paul and some of his former teammates. Some of his current teammates thought they'd join in, and it was amazing. There was cursing, pushing and all sorts of testosterone driven shenanigans. Think of it as an action movie, the game being the main story. Whichever team you prefer are the good guys. Let me lay down the build up plot points. Stay with me, the Climax is incredible.
Trevor Ariza was trying to literally strip Blake Griffin. This was immediately followed by Griffin absolutely whipping the ball at Eric Gordon as he tumbled out of bounds. The Staples Center crowd was thrilled and let him know it as they erupted with cheers. Blake had been screaming obscenities all night long to anyone who would listen. At Mike D'Antoni, the Refs, Chris Paul, Trevor Ariza, the guy selling beers in the stands, no one was safe.
Austin Rivers talking shit while dressed in street clothes and wearing a boot. I don't know what to say. Does he think Daddy will back him up? I'm still shaking my head at this one. This may be what lead to Griffin and Ariza getting ejected as they exchanged gentlemanly words, but then again it could just be that nearly everybody but Lou Williams seemed ready to curb stomp someone and the referees just needed to do something, anything.
The game ends and the Clippers miraculously win it 113-102. This is where the credits begin to roll and the movie seems to be over... but then the music stops, the credits rewind and we get some kind of record scratch. Hold up, we're not done.
Somewhere deep in Staples Center there is an anger brewing in the locker room of the Houston Rockets. Chris Paul is rallying the troops. The plot thickens. The Clippers are enjoying their well deserved victory in the safety of their home, nothing to worry about. Except there is. The Rockets have an inside man, one who's concocted a nasty plan. It's time for some Ocean's Eleven type shit. It turns out there's a secret hallway which connects the visiting and home team's locker rooms, something only Chris Paul would know about from his time in L.A.. First, the decoy. Chris Paul allegedly sent Clint Capela to the front door of the Clippers locker room as some sort of distraction. He spent some time knocking on the door while Chris lead the assault (Gerald Green, Trevor Ariza and James Harden) through the back door. Their target? Austin Rivers. This is it, this is the climax, we're about to see the gang kill the bad guy, rob the safe or retrieve the hostages.
Not so fast. This actually did happen, this isn't a movie, no Hollywood ending. Arena security reportedly called L.A.P.D. and the raid was squashed. That. Is. So. Lame. Where is the victory in that? The truth is, the genre here isn't action, it's comedy. And a great example of immaturity on the part of some of the league's leaders. This is a story about the president of the players association, Chris Paul, leading an aggressive and unnecessary outburst after a game. On MLK day no less. The Rockets should be ashamed, just take the loss and swallow your pride. When it comes to complaining about officiating you're not helping your case by running a scheme like this.
Don't get me wrong. I loved every minute of this story and writing about it was a joy but basketball is a game and the people playing it are role models. Let's see this for what it is. A problem. We'll see how the league deals with it but punishment should be swift and severe. This is a family show. Keep it on the court.