You All Lost Your Minds. Let Me Help You Find Them

In this society, we always want something new. We want something better than the last, and we want to be up on it before everybody else gets a whiff of it, and joins the trend.

I’m guilty of it myself. I’ve probably bought a new laptop four times in the four years I’ve been writing about the NBA. Why would that ever be necessary? Is a new laptop going to make me a better writer? Is it going to give me better ideas to present my thoughts on the NBA? No, of course it won’t. But I still like to have the most up-to-date technology I can at my fingertips, literally.

I don’t know why I like this new technology and I don’t know why I crave it. To be honest, my last MacBook Pro was probably better than this one. It was perfect to type on and it had a great layout that I was very comfortable using. But I got greedy. I saw the opportunity to grab one with more updated specs and seized it. I wanted to be ahead of the technological curve.

This is kind of what we have going on in the world of point guard debates. For some godforsaken reason, we now have to debate every point guard matchup and figure out who is going to be the best one. We need to know which guy is a Hall of Fame player after two years in the league and which one would be best to build an entire franchise and marketing campaign around. With the rules being so favorable to the diminutive generals (not a shot at Avery Johnson) and forcing us to crave more complete players than just some Trent Dilfer type of floor leader who will uninspiringly make you wish you could find one damn YouTube-worthy highlight from each game (ABSOLUTELY a shot at Avery Johnson), it makes sense to want to have the latest and greatest point guard on your team.

With the emergence of Rajon Rondo, Russell Westbrook and Derrick Rose last season, the influx of insanely talented rookie point guards and the dominating nature of Deron Williams, we all seemed to forget about Chris Paul. A big part of this was due to injuries. He hurt his knee and it kept him out of almost half the games. Then Darren Collison became a fantasy basketball sensation, which caused everybody to lose their collective bowels and start wondering if the Hornets even needed Chris Paul. Deron Williams exploded at the end of the regular season, threw up some absurd performances in the playoffs and all of a sudden experts and pundits are proclaiming him to be hands down the best point guard in the NBA.

ARE YOU PEOPLE OUT OF YOUR F***ING MINDS?!?

This is CHRIS PAUL!

CHRIS F’ING PAUL!

How did this happen? How did we move on so quickly to the latest fad when the best product on the market is still kicking ass and handing out career years to his teammates?

All he did was injure his knee. He didn’t Greg Oden his knee. He didn’t Shaun Livingston his knee. He didn’t have Big Baby fall into it like an inebriated seal and Joe Theisman his knee. He tore the meniscus in his knee and you all decided to write his obituary and send him off on some slab of glacier to the cold Icelandic waters?

Do you know what he was doing during this time period when Darren Collison had you foolishly drooling and Deron Williams had you worshipping false point guard prophets? He was sitting there, absorbing all of this coverage. He was watching you be dismissive. Hell, he was probably relishing being passed over, just waiting for the day in which he could come back and shove his damn leadership and assists in your face.

This is Chris Paul. He’s kind of an a-hole. That’s not to say he’s a mean guy or a bad guy by any means. But put him on the court and he’s going to want to rip your heart out Temple of Doom style. He’s going to fight Mike Tyson over which one of Lennox Lewis’ kids he can eat first. This guy is competitive beyond any rational sense of what is okay and what isn’t. I would be terrified of him in a fight because with his competitive nature, he’s probably incapable of stopping until he knows the job is finished.

And you left him there stewing. Just waiting to attack. He was like Darth Maul in Star Wars: Episode 1 when he’s taking on Obi-Wan and Qui-Gon at the end. There’s the scene in which they get separated by some laser-infused, Kool-Aid partition. While Obi-Wan is trying to catch up to help out a meditating Qui-Gon, Darth Maul is just pacing back and forth, like a pit bull ready to make the 6’o’clock news after raiding an elementary school.

Throughout this entire time, people have just been kind enough to throw Chris Paul back into the conversation without any real proclamation that he’s returned to his throne of best point guard in the league. Everyone has been looking for the new guy to be the best. Instead, you should have been preparing for the biblical apocalypse that he’s going to hand down on the court this year. He’s healthy now and he’s almost completely in shape too. He has his teammates trying, filling in their roles and actually trying to play defense.

I saw David West show on a screen the other day on defense and it felt like I just saw Haley’s Comet come chill out in my living room.

THIS is the affect Chris Paul returning in a healthy manner has had for the New Orleans Hornets. Maybe he wants to eventually be traded so he can have a real chance at a ring. Maybe he’ll see the effort from this team, fall in love with their tenacity and willingness to do what it takes to rack up wins and decide N’Awlins is the place for him in his next contract. None of that really matters right now.

What matters is people took this man for granted, even though he’s only 25 years old. We got lazy and we got caught up in the latest and hopefully greatest, instead of hoarding bottled water, batteries and Simpsons Uno so we don’t get bored to death in the bunker we should have been building to prepare for his return to the court.

You know who wasn’t prepared? James Jones.

Chris Paul killed James Jones with that crossover. He’s dead now. It doesn’t matter there was a charge called inexplicably after he killed James Jones. All that matters is that James’ will and testament get doled out properly.

Chris Paul is back. He’s the best point guard in the world and everybody needs to be ready to admit it. It’s not a fluke really that the Hornets are 6-0. It’s because Chris Paul is no longer hobbled with a knee injury.

After Chris Paul dismantled the Miami Heat with a 19-assist performance, LeBron James declared on Twitter that this nonsense needs to end.

Ultimately, it’s okay to be impressed with what Rajon Rondo is doing. It’s okay to want Derrick Rose to realize his potential or hope Russell Westbrook develops a jumper or wish Deron Williams would stop going to Supercuts to get his hair did.

The new fads are fun. You can grab a laser disc player. You get to play with your Furby. Go to town on your pogs. Just remember to not lose sight of who the best is right now.

Chris Paul is back. He never really left. And he’s going to make you rue the day that you doubted he was still the best at what he does.

Seth Carstens