GRIFFIN AND PAUL KICKOFF SLEEPLESS ALL-STAR SCHEDULE
NEW ORLEANS – All-Star Weekend is hardly an All-Star Break, at least for Blake Griffin and Chris Paul.
The Clippers’ superstar duo made their rounds through Thursday’s media circuit just hours after arriving in New Orleans for their third All-Star Game together. It was just the beginning of what promises to be a hectic, somewhat trying schedule of events, appearances and obligations.
The weekend will be particularly busy for Paul, who is returning to the city he called home for the first six years of his career. He and Griffin flew to New Orleans following the Clippers’ 122-117 victory over the Trail Blazers Wednesday and almost immediately after deplaning and arriving at their hotel started making the rounds.
The plane touched down at 6 a.m. Central Time and two hours later Paul was visiting Andrew H. Wilson Charter School. He worked out for an hour after that, spent an hour and a half talking to some national media outlets and filming television spots for the NBA, and barely had time for lunch before participating in a “welcome back” gala with the CP3 Afterschool Zone at Kipp Central City School.
He drove from the visit to Kipp Central, where dozens of kids he has seen grow through the program he started as a member of the Hornets were excited to see him, to his daughter’s, Camryn Alexis, and twin nephew’s christening with his family pastor who resides in New Orleans.
“It’s going to be a busy weekend,” Paul said. “I’ve got my daughter’s christening [Thursday]. My niece and nephew’s christening. I’ve got grandparents there, a lot of family is going to be there. And I get to enjoy it with Mr. Griffin.”
Griffin’s Thursday schedule was much lighter. He did radio interviews, including a show with former NBA head coach P.J. Carlesimo, filmed an ABC television spot and had several other media obligations before going back to the hotel to rest.
Griffin knows what it’s like to go through the gamut without sleep. In 2011, his rookie year, he was involved in three All-Star events in consecutive days, including the Slam Dunk Contest, and the Clippers were in the middle of what amounted to a nine-game road trip.
Asked what he learned from that past All-Star Weekend, Griffin said, "For me, All-Star Weekend is about getting a chance to rest as much as anything. With the All-Star Game alone you still have obligations almost all day Friday and you have some kind of an event Friday night and Saturday's practice and appearances. Saturday night for me now has become the time where I hang out with my family and hang out with my friends and take it easy."
But it’s still a challenge to fit it all in.
“There's a lot of things going on, a lot of people trying to pull you different ways, so make sure you set aside some time to see your friends and family," Griffin said.
The start to this year’s weekend was not all that dissimilar to 2013, when after the Clippers’ blowout victory over the Lakers, Paul and Griffin flew straight to Houston and a few hours later were at the podium for All-Star Media Day… without much more than a wink of sleep.
By 7 p.m. in New Orleans Thursday, Paul had yet to sleep at all from the night before. His Friday schedule does not let up much either.