Rumors and speculation could not touch Chris Paul now — if they ever could — not here, not on a day like this. The Rockets guard, surrounded by his family in a break in the Go Hoop Day celebrations he co-founded, never seemed more comfortable, more in control, talking about his vision for the event and recognized by the City of Los Angeles for driving it. He had briefly addressed his place with the Rockets and future between portions of the clinics held on Sunday at Crete Academy. But there was one more point to make.
Storyline: Chris Paul Trade?
“I never asked for a trade,” Paul said. “I never demanded a trade.” He did not seem angry about the reports that he had, in part because he had nearly completed the day’s events on a near-perfect Southern California afternoon. He had stepped away for a place on nearby picnic tables, surrounded by his large family, munching on a plant-based burger from one of the event’s sponsors, Beyond Meat, as Paul completed his 11th day since becoming a vegan.
By then, the day’s celebration of basketball might have made it difficult to get too worked up over the off-season rumor mill. Paul was much more effusive about that cause, but he did briefly address speculation that he wants to leave the Rockets and that there is a rift with star backcourt mate James Harden. “I’ll be in Houston,” Paul said. “I’m happy about that. I’m very happy about that. I’m good.”
Basketball, Colombia, Houston and now Minnesota. Family has taken on different shapes for Rosas. His family’s migration to America led to a career in basketball. People he worked with in the Rockets and USA Basketball became close friends. Now, there’s a family to form with the Wolves. There are also games to win, but building that kind of familiarity with the Wolves can help with that. “I see the passion and desire for this organization to do something that hasn’t been done,” Rosas said. “They’ve had successes, they’ve had failures, they’ve had challenges, but this market and this fan base, they want something meaningful that has staying power, and that’s our motivation right now.”