Ask Chris Paul: 2008 Offseason - Part 1

Ask Chris Paul: 2008 Offseason, Part 1
By: Jim Eichenhofer, Hornets.com

In Hornets.com’s “Ask Chris Paul” feature, we provide Hornets fans with the opportunity to submit questions to the Hornets’ All-Star point guard. You can ask Chris a question by sending an e-mail to jime@hornets.com. Please include “Ask Chris Paul” in the subject line of your e-mail. Also include your hometown in the body of the e-mail.

Here are CP’s recent answers to Hornets fans questions:

Chris Paul presents an award to the family of Pete Maravich at the NBA Legends Brunch during the 2008 All-Star Weekend.

From Bobby Truitt of Madisonville, Louisiana:
Chris, your moves, no-look passes and shots over the big guys are reminiscent of Pistol Pete Maravich. Were you a fan of his? Have you been able to look at any of his old game films?
Chris Paul: Yes, I’m a fan of Pistol Pete. I actually used to watch that movie about him when I was younger all the time. I’ve seen a lot of highlights of him. And I had the opportunity to present his family with an award at All-Star Weekend.

From Caleb Harris of Healy, Alaska:
Hey Chris, I am a freshman in high school and 5-foot-6. I finished my season as a sixth man, and all through the year I was mainly a three-point jump shooter and averaged 9.4 points. I did well in that category, but in driving I always seem to struggle. I try to go in fundamentally and just make the basket, but I seem to do something not so fundamental, and my shot either gets blocked or it doesn’t seem to go in. Do you have any advice for me?
Chris Paul: You know, I was maybe 5-6 or shorter as a freshman in high school. But what I always did was try to be crafty and find different ways to get the ball up on the rim. Sometimes you’ve got to take the contact and draw the foul. Other times you’ve got to use your quickness to get around your defender.

From Latisha Ratoo:
Hey Chris, are you a Christian?
Chris Paul: Yes. I grew up in the church and still go to church every Sunday if we don’t have practice. It’s always something that my parents instilled in me. I’ve grown to be pretty devout in my faith.

From Jennifer Buras Noveh of New Orleans:
Chris, thanks for being such a great inspiration to our city, both on and off the court. My question is: What do you think about Rick Flair’s “Whoo!” being your signature sound when you score (or any time your image/name is mentioned in the New Orleans Arena for that matter)?
Chris Paul: [laughs] I think the “Whoo!” thing is pretty funny. It seems like it caught on more and more as time went on and they started playing it. By now, I think there are some people who may not even recognize me or know me, but they know me by that sound.

Ric Flair made an appearance at the New Orleans Arena to announce the starting lineups during a game this season.

A follow-up from Jennifer Buras Noveh of New Orleans:
Have you ever watched wrestling? You just don’t strike me as a Friday Night Smackdown kind of dude.
Chris Paul: I used to be, back when I was in middle school and high school. I used to be huge into the wrestling thing. Whenever they’d come to the Lawrence-Joel Coliseum in Winston-Salem, I also used to go to those wrestling shows.

From Gordon Loh of Singapore:
Chris, I read in Tyson Chandler’s blog that he plans to hire a shooting coach to improve that aspect of his game in the offseason. It is evident that you have already improved in many areas of your game this year, but what do you plan to improve in the offseason?
Chris Paul: Probably try to get stronger and get even better as a shooter. I feel that until I go 100 percent from the foul line and from the field, there is always room for improvement. I also like to work on my ballhandling.

From Ronald Washington of New Orleans:
Chris, you are a cool dude. I shook your hand at the Toys R Us in Metairie in December. You even took time to shake my son’s hand, which really meant a lot to him and me. My question is, can we have this kind of success year-in and year-out, or is this just a good season? Man it feels good to be a winner.
Chris Paul: We’ve just got to come in every year with the same mindset and never be satisfied, and understand what the goal is. I think this season we set a new precedent for our team. It’s not just about the regular season; it’s about the playoffs. Now that we got our feet wet and got a taste of the playoffs, it’s time to take it to the next level.