Houston Rockets point guard Chris Paul recently delivered an inspiring speech to several young basketball players at Rico Hines’ camp. In his message, Paul discussed his love for the game, coaching, and his affinity for tutoring NBA hopefuls.
“I know what it’s like to be a kid,” Paul said to the kids who were gathered around to hear him speak. “Everybody wants to get on Instagram, get on Snapchat. Y’all are just thinking about right now.
“Everybody has to figure out their why,” Paul continued. “Like, why do you hoop? Everybody will say that they love it, but you ain’t gotta lie to me. You tell me why. If you like the girls, the clothes, the money, the cars or whatever… if that’s your why, let’s get that out there.”
Paul, now 33 years of age, then began to explain the importance of respecting parental figures who work hard every day to support their children in sporting endeavors.
“I’ve been in the NBA since I was 19,” Paul added. “I’m going on my 14th year in the NBA, and I ain’t never had to live in the real world. Y’all got parents or guardians who get up and go to work for y’all every day. My folks did that too. My mom worked at a bank for 29 years. My dad worked at Philips Electronics in an assembly line, putting together surveillance cameras every single day.”
Without a doubt, Paul, a nine-time All-Star and former No. 4 overall pick, is one of the best point guards the NBA has ever known. Others in his position might take their job for granted, but he says playing basketball for a living is still unbelievable.
“Guess what I get to do every day and say that’s my way of life,” Paul said. “Hoop! Y’all hear me? I get to hoop (for a living). It still gives me chills when I think about it.
“If y’all really love this (game), just find a passion for it, and figure out how you gotta get there,” Paul continued. “Because a lot of times, people think it’s just basketball. Good or bad, you gotta do the schoolwork.”
Paul’s message to these young players is both inspiring and real. Who knows? Perhaps some of them will be under his tutelage in the coming years.