The biggest trade of what is sure to be an intense and entertaining free agency period unfolded Wednesday morning with nine-time All-Star Chris Paul heading to Houston in exchange for Patrick Beverley, Lou Williams, Sam Dekker, Montrezl Harrell and a 2018 first-round draft pick.
As with every big move, the trade caused a wide range of reactions on Twitter. None was as poignant as the one Paul penned to the city of Los Angeles and Clippers fans.
Unbelievable amount of emotions right now.. pic.twitter.com/1FB7ade7uC
— Chris Paul (@CP3) June 28, 2017
The tweet reads:
“Unbelievable amount of emotions right now- I don’t even know what to say. Lots of love and tears. I’m so blessed and thankful for the ability to play this game, this is the part no one can prepare you for. To the Los Angeles community and to CLIPPER NATION I say THANK YOU!!! For the past 6 years you all have welcomed not only me but my family. We love all of you. Most importantly, I’m thinking about the kids at LA’s Best and the Brotherhood Crusade. You guys have changed my life Doesn’t matter where I go to work- we have a lot more to do.”
Alongside Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan, Paul turned the Clippers into one of the most exciting teams to watch and a consistent playoff participant. But Paul could never lead the Clippers to the championship that seemed within reach when he was traded from New Orleans in 2011. The team fell victim to untimely injuries and late-game collapses. In Paul’s six years with the team, the Clippers never made it past the second round.
Regardless, Paul became a beloved figure in Los Angeles as a true superstar for a franchise that had lacked one for so long. The Clippers’ first-round series victory against the Grizzlies in 2012 was just the second series win ever since the organization moved to Los Angeles in 1984.
In July of 2016, ESPN awarded Paul its annual Sports Humanitarian of the Year Award. The Chris Paul Family Foundation has sponsored community improvement projects all across the country, given out scholarships to Paul’s alma mater Wake Forest assisted with Hurricane Katrina recovery in New Orleans and much more. As mentioned in his tweet, Paul also worked with LA’s Best, a city-wide after school program, and Brotherhood Crusade, which helps underprivileged children in South Los Angeles, during his time out West.
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