Chris Paul on Hall of Fame visit: “Something I’ll Never Forget”
The L.A. Clippers point guard was honored with the Mannie Jackson Award for his humanitarian and charitable efforts.
“That trip to Springfield was something I’ll never forget,” Paul told Rowan Kavner of NBA.com. “Springfield was pretty memorable in that it hit me that I’ve been in the NBA now… this will be my 12th season, been playing basketball since I was four, and I still didn’t know a lot of the history of the game. To go to the Hall of Fame and see the groundwork for why I get to live the way that I live, it was a pretty touching experience to me.”
Paul was choked up reminiscing of his childhood and how the game of basketball has brought him to where he is right now.
“My family knows I’m sort of the emotional one in our family,” Paul reflected. “Today was my first day having an opportunity to come here, and it was kind of touching, because if not for this game, I’m not here. If not for this game, my family’s not in the position we’re in, and so I’m so grateful for this game and what it’s done for me and my family.”
The 6-foot guard out of Wake Forest got the chance to see his idol — Allen Iverson — enshrined in the Hall of Fame once the induction ceremony took place on Friday, September 9.
“It really hit me today being here around all the history and that we take so much for granted; I know I do a lot of times, but to get an opportunity to come here – I remember pressuring my parents to buy me some Allen Iverson shoes – and to be here on a special day for him… man, this game has taken me places that I could never have imagined,” said Paul. “To all those other hoopers out there, guys, you’ve got to come see this, because it’s bigger than any of us.”
It might not take that much longer for Paul to make it to Springfield, as he is currently 11th all-time on assists and could find himself in the top five by the time his career comes to an end.