Photo courtesy of clipperblog.com
If Chris Paul does not re-sign with the Clippers next summer, then he did quite the job of teasing the team's much maligned fan base.
From organizing summer workouts with up-and-comers Eric Bledsoe and DeAndre Jordan, to partying and training with young guys Trey Thompkins and Travis Leslie in Las Vegas, Paul is one of the main guys orchestrating the development of the Clippers' youthful roster.
Even his footwear suggests longevity in Los Angeles.
The debut of his new CP3.VI shoe might have foreshadowed his plans for the future.
Analyzing the qualities of the shoes, ESPN.com's Chris Palmer wrote (via ESPN.com):
"On the tip of one set of shoelaces is the number 310, the Los Angeles area code. On the other is 336, the area code in his hometown of Winston-Salem.
The midfoot shank on the sole provides torsional rigidity and enhanced support but is also a shout-out to the two most important places in Paul’s life. On the right shoe the shank is embedded with a map of the downtown LA area surrounding Staples Center. The left has a map of the area surrounding his alma mater, West Forsyth High School in Clemmons, N.C., a small suburb of Winston-Salem.
'It’s one foot in the past and one in the future,' [shoe designer Tom] Luedecke said."
Paul never had a shoe with the 504 area code of New Orleans on it.
His decision to put multiple elements of Los Angeles alongside components of his transformative home in Winston-Salem is revealing in itself.
Given his happiness in LA and all that he has put into this team, it would be quite a shocker to see Paul playing elsewhere in 2013-14.