This is an article from the April 21, 2008 issue
Playoff-bound New Orleans set a franchise record for wins with its 55th on April 9.
Dan Patrick: What's more important to winning an NBA title: a good big man or a good point guard?
Chris Paul: Ah, a combination of both....
DP: No, no, no, no!
CP: ... listen, listen, listen, listen. It's a combination of both, but I think everything begins and ends with the point guard. The offense and the defense starts with you every night.
DP: In New Orleans you guys play that "Whoo!" thing from Ric Flair every time you score. What's up with that?
CP: I didn't really pay attention to it until this year, but I guess they've been doing it since my rookie year. I never knew that it was Ric Flair until this year—you know, he actually came out to the game the other night.
DP: Did you even know who Ric Flair was?
CP: Yeah. I used to watch wrestling all the time, and his daughter was thinking about going to Wake Forest.
DP: Is there a wrestler you thought could have been a decent basketball player?
CP: Andre the Giant.
DP: He would have been a slow Yao Ming though, wouldn't he?
CP: He might have been, but I know that if he gets that ball on the block, it'd be like, turn around and drive it in.
DP: Maybe he's sort of like Eddie Curry?
CP: [Laughs.] Nah, nah.
DP: What's the strangest thing you've thought about that isn't basketball-related while you're actually playing a game?
CP: My brother sits courtside a lot of the time, so I may see him talking to somebody, and I'm like, "What are they talking about?" Or when the game's almost over, maybe I'm trying to figure out what I'm going to eat after the game. Or if we're going to be able to get a poker game when we get to the next city.
DP: Are you a Texas hold 'em guy?
DP: Are you good?
CP: Yeah, very good.
DP: I'll call your bluff. I'm all in, Chris, just so you know.
CP: [Laughs.] I call.
Why Goodbye Is Still "Goodbye"
IF YOU THOUGHT THE ANNUAL MELODRAMA about whether Brett Favre will play next season would go away just because he held a teary press conference announcing his retirement, well, silly you. This speculation will be with us for a while, for this simple reason: Favre walked away when he was healthy enough to actually walk away. That's good for him, but it's also his dilemma. He knows he could still play. Guys like Troy Aikman and Steve Young had medical reasons not to return. Favre was just tired of meetings and film study. That's not the same, and it's why he could say last week that he might come back to Green Bay next season if Aaron Rodgers was injured and the Packers asked real nice. What Favre would really like is the kind of schedule Roger Clemens had in baseball the last couple years—show up halfway through the season and say, "I'll take it from here, guys." He can't because football isn't baseball. But that, and little else, will put an end to the guessing game.
Mocking the Mock Drafts
Who's 7th? Who's 27th? Who cares? Why these predictions are worth less than any others
1. Half are put together by NFL writers who watched two Notre Dame games at the airport bar and the second half of the Sugar Bowl and who wouldn't recognize Chris Long (right) if they were stuck in an elevator with him.
2. Among the chief sources of information for these mock drafts: NFL general managers, who are lying, and agents, who are lying even more.
3. An even bigger source of information: other people's mock drafts. This is how everyone ends up in certain agreement that Brady Quinn will be taken in the top five.
Isiah Thomas's Netflix Queue
Dead Man Walking, Gone Baby Gone, Escape from New York, Losing Isaiah, The Last Waltz, Deuce Bigalow: European Gigolo
THE FINE PRINT: The first two rounds of the Masters were televised on ESPN. I especially enjoyed the solemn tribute to Boo-Yah Corner.
Go to DANPATRICK.COM for more from Chris Paul and other recent interviews, and hear live audio of Dan's radio show, 9 a.m. to noon ET, Mon.--Fri.