Anybody who watches a decent amount of NBA basketball has certain commercials committed to memory. After a while, characters from those commercials become as interwoven into the fabric of the NBA as the games themselves.
Cliff Paul is one of those characters. The, uh, twin brother of Rockets guard Chris Paul is known for his crisp outfits, caterpillar mustache and thick glasses. But what’s going to happen to Cliff now that Chris has moved from Los Angeles to Houston?
Paul’s newest State Farm spot (debuting below) reveals the fate of Cliff, and also coincides with an eBay auction Paul will hold to benefit victims of Hurricane Harvey. Bidders can purchase items such as autographed artwork, sneakers, jerseys and more. In addition to the auction, Paul is also working with State Farm to help rebuild libraries and schools in Houston affected by the hurricane.
The Crossover caught up with Paul to discuss his acting career, helping out his new home and more.
Rohan Nadkarni: What’s it like for you to act out the scenes in which you’re also playing Cliff Paul?
Chris Paul: What you mean how do I act? That’s really my twin brother.
RN: Oh, of course, that’s your brother. My bad.
CP: [Laughs] It's been a lot of fun. The very first one we ever shot, I remember they thought on TNT that I was shooting a movie. It's been a lot of fun doing this part and I’ve been doing this for so many years now.
RN: So your good friend LeBron James has also dipped his toes into acting. Is that something you guys get competitive at all over?
CP: It’s not competitive or anything like that. It’s definitely something I’m into. Living in L.A. is one thing, but I’ve always been into movies and TV shows. One thing you learn when you play in the NBA for a while, you learn to get into TV shows during all your idle time.
RN: So you’re also a member of the Hoopers—why are those guys always getting into trouble?
CP: What you mean why they getting in trouble?
RN: They’re always knocking over trees or ruining homes, I figured as the leader of that group you would be trying to whip them into shape.
CP: I wish, I wish. But if they never did anything wrong, they’d never need State Farm would they?
RN: Have the Hoopers met Cliff Paul?
CP: They haven’t met. Cliff is usually busy at work assisting people. One of these days maybe the Hoopers will invite them over for dinner or something like that.
RN: What’s it been like for you moving to Houston and then dealing with the fallout of the hurricane?
CP: Man, you know basically as a new Houston resident, it’s been really cool to see how resilient the people in this community have been. Along with my family and my foundation and State Farm—one of the great things about our partnership is it’s about more than fun and funny commercials. They’ve put some real meaning behind “exist to assist.” We’ve put up a lot of learning centers around the country. And that’s where I’m actually headed to right now, another one.
RN: Do things feel back to normal for you at all?
CP: Obviously, different areas were affected in different ways. The biggest thing you see is how much people come together. You hate that it takes these type of occurrences to bring people together, but it happened, and to see—we practice a lot, and I don’t always get an opportunity to go out and see different areas—but you see things like, these two rival schools we’re actually helping today. One of these schools got destroyed in Harvey. So students are going to their rival school right now, can you believe that?
RN: I know you wish you could be on the court, but how excited are you about the Rockets’ hot start?
CP: It’s been very exciting. We got a great group. Obviously I played in just one game of the season so far. I’m itching to get back out there. I continue to travel with the guys, I can rehab on the road. Man, I can’t wait. We expect to have a lot of fun this year.
RN: Is there any limit to the number of threes you guys cans shoot?
CP: No! No, that’s the thing that I’m learning too. Coach D’Antoni, he wants us to get up at least 50 threes a night.