“WoW.” That singular tweet from Chris Paul on Dec. 8 became the definitive reaction to the news that the NBA rejected a trade proposal that would’ve sent the New Orleans’ all-star point guard to the Los Angeles Lakers. It was retweeted over 15,000 times.
It’s also an apt response for the sheer flood of trade rumors surrounding the NBA superstar.
For the at least the fourth time in 11 days, Paul is trending on Twitter, as NBA fans excitedly speculate about where he’ll play when the league resumes on Christmas.
It’s been a tumultuous few weeks for CP3. Ever since the NBA resolved its lockout on November 26th, he’s been the most closely followed player on the trading block. Sportswriter Bill Simmons recently called him “maybe the best pure point guard who ever lived.”
Paul’s recent spate of Twitter buzz started December 1st. Yahoo sports reported he requested a trade to the New York Knicks before his contract expires next year, confirming long-standing rumors that he was angling to play there. Topsy statistics show Paul’s name had over 5,000 important mentions that day.
But that trade didn’t pan out and, five days later, reports emerged of a blockbuster three-way trade that would send Paul to the Los Angeles Lakers. That day there were 3,000 mentions of his name.
On December 8th, NBA commissioner David Stern blocked the trade, to much criticism, citing what should’ve become an instant meme: “basketball concerns.” Paul’s name peaked that day at 12:20 PM, with over 50,000 significant tweets about him.
Earlier this morning, the Orange County Register’s Kevin Ding tweeted that a trade that would send Paul to the Los Angeles Clippers was imminent. That sparked another flurry of trade rumors on the microblogging site, with Paul’s name became a trending topic after being mentioned almost 2,000 times before noon.
Not known for being bombastic, Paul has since kept mum on all the rumors. His most recent tweet was last night and about something more stable than contract talks.
“In spite of everything that's going on, its comforting to know that I have the BEST and COOLEST 2yr old in the world!!!” he wrote.
Photo by Tom Holbrook