Chris Paul, Not Dwight Howard, Is the Biggest Prize Available

To quote one of the famous lines from A Few good Men, if I had to choose between Chris Paul and Dwight Howard, I would take Paul any day of the week and twice on Sunday.

In fact, my only concern isn’t who the better player is, but if Paul’s health is still a question mark.

After that, I’m done.

Now, I don’t mean to make light of one of the most hotly debated topics in the past few weeks of the NBA, but, when push comes to shove and a decision needs to be made, all anyone really has is their gut to adhere to.

Listen, I’ll be the first one to acknowledge that Howard is the safer pick of the two.

He is far and away the best big man the NBA has, and, as far as strategies go, getting a big man is about as easy a way to be a legitimate contender as taking control of Australia in the game of Risk. Howard is also the single biggest defensive force in the NBA, and we all know what wins championships after all.

Not to mention that Howard makes his teammates better by his mere presence alone on the court.

Heck, I could list several more reasons why Howard should be considered the big fish available on the market.

who if the better player to build for the future with?

    who if the better player to build for the future with?
  • Chris Paul 0%
  • Dwight Howard 0%
  • Total votes: 0

But none of that matters to me.

At the end of the day, my decision comes down to this.

With their talent level being on a relatively even playing field, which guy can I count on to lead me to victory?

That guy is Paul.

The same guy that showed as recently as last year’s NBA playoffs that he is a one man wrecking crew who single-handedly pushed the then two-time defending champion Lakers to their knees before narrowly escaping.

Because that’s what the great ones do. they make you earn it. 

Jordan. Magic. Bird. Russel.

Sure, they had all the talent in the world. but, what cemented their status as pillars of NBA lore was their determination.

Meanwhile, on the other end of the spectrum, you also saw other future hall-of-famers like Barkley,  Iverson and even somebody like LeBron James who, no matter how talented, have developed reputations as being guys who get in their own way.

Guys who lack the focus to know what they want and do what it takes to be successful.

Look, I’m not saying that Howard is some kind of head case.

I just think he lacks the kind of emotional maturity and focus it takes to be a champion.

Which is why we continue to see him argue with refs and commit petty fouls against players.

We see him vacillate back and forth on whether he wants to stay in Orlando or get traded.

Heck, at one point, he was committed to going to LA, and, then suddenly changed his mind and said he wanted to go to the Nets.

Now, if you’re telling me that you don’t see a certain cognitive-behavioral pattern in all this, I don’t know what to tell you.

Because, what I see is a guy that allows himself to get distracted, and that’s not somebody I want to put all my eggs in one basket for.

See, if I’m a team like the Lakers, and I find myself in this weird limbo state of both being a contender and in need of transplanting a new captain to direct my ship, I think back to last year’s playoffs. and then I think back to the NBA Finals three years ago when my team beat the Orlando Magic in five games. Of those two series, which franchise player asserted himself more? Howard or Paul?

Fine, you think maybe I’m holding CP3 to a greater esteem than I should be.

You could probably make an even larger list of excuses to Dwight’s defense than his superiority between the two guys.

Intricacies of being a big man vs. being a point guard, i.e. accessibility to the ball.

Unmotivated teammates.

And so on and so forth.

But I know a guy that doesn’t make excuses.

And if you’re so eager for one, maybe you could use David Stern for that life line.

Not Chris Paul though.

Because, just hours after the biggest travesty of David Stern’s 27 year career in the NBA, guess who showed up to the first day of training camp the next morning?

The same guy who never lost sight of the big picture.

Maybe we should all start responding in kind.

Chris Paul, Not Dwight Howard, Is the Biggest Prize Available

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