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Superstar Chris Paul Reflects on Life, Fatherhood & NBA in New Memoir

By Jake Beardslee · July 27, 2023

NBA star Chris Paul opens up about life lessons on and off the court in his candid new memoir.  Keith Allison from Hanover, MD, USA, CC BY-SA 2.0 , via Wikimedia Commons

Golden State Warriors superstar point guard, Chris Paul discussed his new memoir, 61: Life Lessons from Papa On and Off the Court, in a recent interview. The book details how Paul’s grandfather helped mold him into the man he is today.

Paul told USA Today Sports of the challenges involved in authoring a personal memoir, saying, “It was really hard writing it. But it was also much harder during the audio version because you don’t realize sometimes when you talk through things.” He recalled having to recount emotional moments like his grandmother’s and grandfather’s funerals while recording the audiobook.

Father of two boys, Paul shared advice for dads everywhere: “Cherish those moments. I’m so blessed and fortunate to have my father.” He also stressed the importance of open communications with kids, even regarding difficult topics. “We have always tried to protect our kids, but not shelter our kids,” he said remembering the sensitivities involved in discussing the George Floyd incident with his own young children.

On the subject of mentoring younger players, Paul said he would advise #1 draft pick Victor Wembanyama to “savor this moment with your loved ones and your family.”

Paul offered his perspective on outspoken players like Jimmy Butler and Kyrie Irving, saying, “Basketball is what we do. It’s not who we are.” He said that while the game is meaningful, players have lives off the court as well. “Guys have got other things going on.”

On the high-profile absence of his friend John Wall from the Houston Rockets, Paul voiced concern for Wall’s overall well-being, saying, “I’m more so worried about him as a person, as his mind and everything like that.”

A president of the NBA Players Association, Paul stands out as a role model and spokesman for a one of the world’s most popular sports.

Light Wave commentary

It’s refreshing to see an NBA superstar like Chris Paul extol the importance of family and life outside of sports. In a sport obsessed with statistics, contracts and the dramas that surround so many of its players, Paul reminds us there is far more to an athlete’s than what takes place on the basketball court. He is a role model to fans and fellow players alike.