Ranking Chris Paul's 2013 All-Star Game MVP with Biggest Career Moments
Chris Paul took home the MVP award at the 2013 All-Star Game, and it really wasn't that difficult. He just went out there and did what he does every night: dish and swish.
He vaulted himself into the pantheon of all-time great point guards, putting up numbers duplicated in All-Star history by only Magic Johnson and Isiah Thomas.
But where does it rank among the biggest moments of Paul's eight-year career?
CP3 was selected by the New Orleans Hornets out of Wake Forest with the fourth overall pick in the 2005 draft. He was taken directly after fellow point guard Deron Williams, setting up an exciting rivalry between them.
At this stage, however, there is little doubt as to who the finer point guard is. Paul looks like he's entering the prime of his career with abundant accolades and hardware to come.
But let's take a look back at the best moments he's enjoyed so far.
8. 2007 Rookie Challenge
After missing some time due to injury and not being named to the 2007 All-Star team, Paul was still selected to participate in the T-Mobile Rookie Challenge (now the BBVA Rising Stars Challenge).
Paul set two records in the game, with 17 assists and nine steals, and the Sophomores beat the Rookies 136-109.
Paul set his sights on being an All-Star in 2008; he made good on that promise and hasn't missed an ASG since.
7. Breaking Alvin Robertson's Record
On December 17, 2008, Paul surpassed Alvin Robertson's mark of 105 consecutive games with at least one steal.
That record had stood for 22 years and was one of Robertson's few distinctions as a player. He is also one of four players in NBA history to record a quadruple-double, and the only one to do it with double-digit steals.
While Robertson was known as a defensive specialist, steals are merely one aspect of Paul's game.
CP3 would also stretch that record to 108 games, and he was named to the NBA All-Defensive first team that season.
6. The Trade(s) to Los Angeles
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On December 8, 2011, the Hornets agreed to a trade with the Houston Rockets and Los Angeles Lakers that would have sent Paul to L.A. But the NBA controlled the Hornets franchise at the time and they vetoed the trade.
Commissioner David Stern stated, “We decided, free from the influence of other NBA owners, that the team was better served with Chris in a Hornets uniform than by the outcome of the terms of that trade" (per Howard Beck of the New York Times).
The Hornets would have gotten Lamar Odom from the Lakers plus Luis Scola, Kevin Martin and Goran Dragic from the Rockets, along with the New York Knicks’ 2012 first-rounder from Houston.
Ultimately, the NBA deemed that the Hornets would be better off getting younger players or more draft picks in exchange for the 26-year-old Paul.
Less than a week after this snafu, the Hornets agreed to trade Paul to the L.A. Clippers for Chris Kaman, Eric Bledsoe and Al-Farouq Aminu. The league then also requested Eric Gordon and the Minnesota Timberwolves' 2012 first-round choice.
Once L.A. pulled back Eric Bledsoe, the deal was completed and Paul became a Clipper. Plucked off a struggling team and placed in the City of Angels, Paul's stardom blossomed even further.
5. 2006 Rookie of the Year
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After the Hornets selected Paul in the 2005 draft, Hurricane Katrina devastated the Gulf Coast and the team was unable to play most of their games in their home arena.
Paul still started 78 games as a rookie, averaging 16.1 points, 7.8 assists, 5.1 rebounds and 2.2 steals. He won the Rookie of the Year and also took home the ESPY for Best Breakthrough Athlete.
The ROY voting was particularly interesting, as Paul almost won unanimously except for Deron Williams getting tabbed by his hometown voter on the panel.
4. 2013 All-Star Game MVP
Chris Paul seized the 2013 All-Star Game MVP without even trying.
Kevin Durant dropped 30 points on the evening, but he couldn't keep pace with Paul's 20 points and 15 assists, a mark previously reached in All-Star history by only Isiah Thomas and Magic Johnson. Paul also had four steals, by the way.
That's rarefied air for CP3, but it's all in a day's work.
When asked how he felt about winning the MVP, he replied with humility, calling it, "pretty special. And it's something that...coming into the game I wasn't trying to achieve or thinking that it might even be possible" (per Ben Bolch of the Los Angeles Times).
3. 2008 Playoffs
In the 2007-08 season, CP3 sparkled. With the city again ready to receive its basketball team, Paul reached new heights as a player. He averaged unreal numbers to the tune of 21.1 points, 11.6 assists and 2.7 steals per game.
Not only was Paul named to his first All-Star team, but he finished second in the MVP voting behind Kobe Bryant and was also named to the All-NBA first team.
Paul's success also garnered him a contract extension in the offseason.
His first playoff series win surely created a hunger for more postseason success, which must have made the Clippers' 2012 second-round sweep at the hands of the San Antonio Spurs all the more stinging.
2. 2008 Beijing Olympics
In 2008, Chris Paul got his first taste of Olympic glory when Team USA won the gold medal in Beijing.
Paul had been on the team that won bronze at the 2006 FIBA World Championship in Japan. It was no secret that the U.S. was seeking to avenge that disappointment, and they stormed to their rightful place atop the podium in 2008.
It must have been quite an experience for Paul on the heels of the '08 playoffs, and there's no greater accomplishment than winning gold for your country on an international stage.
1. 2012 London Olympics
After getting his first taste of Olympic gold in Beijing, Paul journeyed to London four years later to try again.
While his final stats in the 2012 Olympics won't make your eyes bug out (8.2 points, 5.1 assists, 2.5 steals), Paul's play down the stretch of the gold medal game against Spain sealed a close contest and delivered victory for Team USA.
Paul took the reins of the offense when crunch time arrived.
With the U.S. up by only a single point in the fourth quarter, CP3 scored five points in 25 seconds and Spain was unable to make it a one-possession deficit again. Paul's eight fourth-quarter points helped seal the deal in London.