ALL-STAR MEDIA AVAILABILITY A ‘DELIRIOUS’ DAY FOR CLIPPERS
2/15/13 | ERIC PATTEN Follow @ericpatten
HOUSTON – Chris Paul and Blake Griffin were sitting on opposite sides of an overcrowded ballroom at the Hilton Hotel a couple blocks away from Toyota Center.
Despite being separated by a patrician, a throng of people around hometown star James Harden, and about 50 feet of real estate, there is no question the Clippers’ two superstars knew exactly how the other was feeling.
“I’m delirious right about now,” Paul said.
The Clippers played the final regular season game before the start of All-Star Weekend, a 125-101 victory over the Lakers, before departing in the early hours of Friday morning to arrive in Houston in time for media availability early Friday afternoon.
“It wasn’t fun,” Griffin said of the quick turnaround. “I mean, the game was great, but flying in, we got in around 5 this morning, so that was a little hectic.”
So much for a break.
Paul, Griffin, slam dunk participant Eric Bledsoe and several others including Clippers staff and family members were on the more than 1,300-mile flight from Los Angeles to Texas’ most populous city.
“We left the game, got here at 5 a.m. and left the hotel to come over here at 9,” Paul said, adding that if he’s tired then his son Chris Paul IV, who was sitting on the floor next to his father, must be “running on fumes.”
Friday afternoon was hardly Paul or Griffin’s first time running the gamut that is All-Star media availability, the 45-minute process of sitting at a dais answering questions from what amounts to hundreds of reporters, writers, bloggers and others from any and every spot on the globe.
Bledsoe’s media slot preceded Paul and Griffin at noon where he was asked about Saturday’s Sprite Slam Dunk and about the Clippers’ success this season.
The big crowd of media, though, showed up for the Western Conference All-Stars 30 minutes later. They wanted to know about the Clippers’ ascension in the Western Conference, Paul’s opinion of playing point guard in the league, Griffin’s opinion of Heat All-Star LeBron James, and a litany of out-of-the-ordinary questions about favorite songs, which actors would play them in a film and what kind of message they had for Michael Jordan on his 50th birthday.
Griffin and Paul have gone through All-Star media day nine times combined in their career, including together last season in Orlando, when they had been teammates for a little more than two months.
Paul said there is something special about being able to share the All-Star experience with a teammate.
“We talked about it last year, me and Blake getting to be together,” Paul said. “All-Star is an experience in itself. Two years, me and David West were All-Stars together in New Orleans. Being an All-Star by yourself, being the only guy from your team has got to be a little odd.
“I actually enjoy it more when you have a teammate, who you have inside jokes with, who you can laugh with and also who you can take this experience back to your teammates with. It’s one thing to describe stories that happen All-Star Weekend just by your account, but me and Blake. It’s great to have him.”