When the Los Angeles Clippers‘ Chris Paul announced that he would retire early to spend more time with his family, the news was as predictable as it was laughable.
Family is important to Paul. He dedicated a season to his late grandfather as a rising star at Wake Forest. Also, wealthy All-Stars of visiting teams have been known to spend the eve before games roasting marshmallows and folding their 6-foot-plus frames in sleeping bags during sleepovers at the Paul home.
Paul’s ability to turn locker rooms into family rooms is a talent not shared by many. He married his high school sweetheart at 26 — young for a man with a career and the means that his job gives him, yet old for a league where many enter as kids and spend their first paycheck at Tiffany’s.
And now, short of winning anything, Paul is hinting towards retirement. Like many in the sports fraternity, he cites spending more time with his family as the reason behind such a premature suggestion, taking for granted the family he thinks he’s prepared to walk away from to spend more time with a family that has always been there. Even if Paul plays into his late 30s, he’s collecting a pension about an average of 30 years sooner than the rest of humanity.
It’s possible Paul simply wanted to remind fans to enjoy the show while it lasts, but no player can outlive the life of a fan. The dream of living life in a hammock while watching the little ones grow into teenagers who’d rather be with other teenagers brought the great Michael Jordan out of retirement twice, and others like him to the sidelines holding clipboards.
ChristopherBrown is an NBA writer for RantSports.com. Follow him on twitter @whatrockschris. Like him on Facebook – Christopher- Rant Sports