Paul, West, Chandler look ahead to offseason

Friday, May 1, 2009
By: Jim Eichenhofer,

On the day after each Hornets season ends, every member of the roster is required to undergo a year-end physical and attend a mandatory team meeting. After both requirements are completed, most of the players opt to go on vacation to some warm-weather destination (though by now it’s already getting into the 80s here), return to their hometowns, or stick around the city of New Orleans.

Thursday afternoon marked the final time that the 2008-09 team would be together in the same place. Players took their physicals at Ochsner Hospital in nearby Harahan, marking the official end of their obligations to the Hornets this season.

Unfortunately, you could say that a hospital was a cruelly ironic place to conduct final interviews with three of the team’s starters – Chris Paul, David West and Tyson Chandler – but that’s what I did on Thursday. Minutes after undergoing their physicals, Paul (who dealt with knee and elbow injuries during the Denver series), West (ankle) and Chandler (ankle) took a few minutes to discuss how they’ll be spending their summers and what they’ll do to recuperate from an arduous 2008-09 season.

Incidentally, if you listen closely at about the 3:25 mark of the Chandler interview, you can hear the beeping of an elevator in the background. After it stops beeping, you can hear a patient who was startled but excited to see the 7-foot-1 center in Ochsner exclaim “Chandler!”