Chris Paul and Greivis Vasquez appeared to jaw at each other in the final seconds of the Clippers’ 105-91 win over the Hornets on Wednesday. After the game, Paul was interviewed on the court during the Hornets’ broadcast.
“He just talk way too much, man,” Paul said. “He talk too much. I don’t – he talk way too much.”
“Well, your scoring and the win did the talking tonight. Thanks a lot Chris,” the interviewer said as Paul interrupted her.
Paul said something in audible about the win before adding one more, “but he just talk too much.”
Maybe I’m giving Paul too much credit, but might he be playing the game, too (and doing it better than Vasquez)? I bet Paul is annoyed by Vasquez, whose reputation for having a big mouth dates back to Maryland.
There’s no good way for Paul to get Vasquez to stop talking. Paul can’t complain after a loss or a poor individual performance, or he’d be labeled a sore loser. Shaquille O’Neal has made the situation more complicated, because Paul surely doesn’t want to be perceived as emulating Shaq’s petty slights to his eventual replacement as Orlando’s center, Dwight Howard, with Paul’s eventual replacement as New Orleans’ point guard, Vasquez.
So, this was the perfect time to strike. Vasquez had zero points, three turnovers and five fouls in a blowout loss. If he goes back at Paul, Vasquez could easily be labeled as caring more about trash-talking than winning.
Perhaps, Paul just bought himself a couple games of Vasquez silence – simply by talking at the right time. Vasquez could take a lesson. That is how you gain the upper hand in the game within the game.