Chris Paul Speaks About Honoring Kobe Bryant

2008 NBA All-Star Game
NEW ORLEANS – FEBRUARY 17: Kobe Bryant #24 and Chris Paul #3 of the Western Conference share a laugh on the bench during the first half of the 57th NBA All-Star Game, part of 2008 NBA All-Star Weekend at the New Orleans Arena on February 17, 2008 in New Orleans, Louisiana. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

After his Oklahoma City Thunder defeated the Houston Rockets to even up their series and determine who will likely be the next opponent for the Lakers in the second round of the playoffs, Chris Paul talked about honoring his good friend Kobe Bryant.

In talking about Kobe, Paul said that he’s changed up his pregame routine slightly. NBA players are notoriously creatures of habit, and getting them to change their routine is not something that’s common. But Chris Paul saying that he’s now adjusted to knocking on the stanchion 8 times before looking to the heavens, before saying, “Let’s go Bean” is a wonderful and touching tribute to his competitor and friend. It’s a subtle gesture, but one that’s especially meaningful to him, to honor Bean and know that he’s thinking about him before every game is truly heartwarming.

Paul mentioning that he’d finally spent time with Jannergo Pargo and Tyson Chandler for the first time in almost a decade just goes to show the depths of the impact that Kobe’s passing had on the league, and the aftershocks aren’t likely to go away any time soon. He also brought up how he thought Kobe would have thrived in the bubble, and even brought up Paul Gasol’s relationship with the Bryant family, referencing a photo shared from Vanessa Bryant’s instagram account.

As president of the NBAPA, Paul’s words carry a little extra weight, and hearing him shout out Kobe on 8/24 was a special moment on a day filled with countless tributes from players around not just the NBA and WNBA, but throughout the entire sporting world.

Mamba might not be with us anymore, but the last couple of days have shown that he’s not gone. Not even close.

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