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Jenni Carlson: Chris Paul is a pest and a pain, but he is no punk

by Jenni Carlson Modified: February 3, 2011 at 12:47 pm •  Published: February 2, 2011

/> But if you want Exhibit A for why Paul is no punk, you need look no further than our fair city.

Hey, OKC, remember when you loved CP3?

Paul was the face of the franchise when the Hornets were in town, and it was a mug that everyone adored. He was cheered loudest. He was lauded longest. And when the Hornets went home to New Orleans, he was missed most.

Now, Paul has become a guy that Thunder fans love to hate.

Granted, Paul has kicked up his on-court antics over the past few seasons. But don’t kid yourself, Oklahoma City. Paul was doing much of the same stuff when he was here, and you loved it then.

You thought he was just doing everything in his power to win.

Guess what? That’s what he’s still doing.

He just happens to doing it wearing another city’s name on his jersey.

Then, he was a fan favorite.

Now, he’s a royal pain. He’s a bad guy. He’s a black-cape-wearing, mustache-twisting, evil-cackling villain.

Right before halftime Wednesday night, Paul drew a foul on Russell Westbrook. The point guards were going after a loose ball, and when they collided, Paul reacted like he’d been hit with a windmill punch.

A fan behind the scorer’s table yelled, “And the Oscar goes to ... ”

Another answered, “Paul!”

It was vintage CP3. It gave him an advantage, stole a couple points and miffed everyone in Thunder blue.

He knows how to get under opponents’ skin.

“He’s good,” Williams said. “That’s enough.”

Enough to drive people crazy.

Enough to brand him a punk.

But Oklahoma City, you know the truth. Paul might be a pest and a pain, but he is no punk.

by Jenni Carlson
Columnist
Jenni Carlson, a sports columnist at The Oklahoman since 1999, came by her love of sports honestly. She grew up in a sports-loving family in Kansas. Her dad coached baseball and did color commentary on the radio for the high school football...
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