Paul: ‘I’m not going anywhere’

Sunday, July 26, 2009
By: Jim Eichenhofer, Hornets.com

Ten days ago, Hornets point guard Chris Paul told Pro Basketball News writer Chris Tomasson the same thing Paul had said previously to multiple other hoops scribes since CP3 joined the NBA: it’s always in the realm of possibility that Paul, or other any other Hornets player, could be traded. As you probably know by now, the comments turned into a brief “controversy,” when Tomasson’s interpretation of the remarks was that Paul had said “there’s a chance he soon could be traded.”

With Paul in New Orleans today for a 3 p.m. ceremonial opening of a Wake Forest-themed basketball court near Mid-City’s Fair Grounds and Race Track, it marked the first time most local media members had spoken to the two-time All-Star since the July 17 article. It was no surprise, then, that one of the first questions asked of Paul after the ceremony was: “Can you talk about what you said in Vegas – that you could be traded? Did you say that?”

Paul’s response: “Everybody knows that if you ask me if I can be traded, I will tell you, ‘If any one of my teammates can be traded, so can I.’ (Tomasson) knew that. So I’m not worried about it.”

Asked what message he could give to Hornets fans who may have been concerned about the comments, Paul said, “I’m not going anywhere. (Hornets fans) know that... I don’t want to go anywhere.”

Paul also touched on a few other topics with NOLA media. Here were some of the highlights.

On whether he expects the Hornets to make any roster moves in the offseason:

“I’m waiting to see. I’m not pressed for anything. Regardless if anything happens before the season, it’s not going to be anything too drastic. We’re still going to be pretty much the same team we had last season.

“No matter what happens, you still have to play the games. If you only went by (how good teams are) on paper, there wouldn’t be any point of having a season.

“That’s why the people in the front office get paid the big bucks, to make those decisions. I control what I can control. When we get to training camp, we’ll see what we have and go from there. I always look forward to the season. My teammates last year, I loved them to death and look forward to seeing them in training camp. I can’t wait til then.”

On whether he’d be reluctant to play fewer minutes next season:

“I’m not reluctant. If we can get (ahead by) 30 (points) and I can rest, I’m all for it. But Coach (Byron Scott) knows I want to be on the floor 48 minutes every night if possible. But with (rookies Darren Collison and Marcus Thornton) coming in, it will definitely give me a chance to take some breaks here and there.”

On Collison and Thornton’s play in Las Vegas:

“If you saw them during summer league, they really know how to play and I’m excited for them. I watched their game against Golden State and they played really well.”