When the buzzer sounded, Chris Paul made like a one-man Mardi Gras krewe. As he began along the route from the floor to the locker room, Paul pulled his red jersey over his head, rolled it into a ball and reached up to hand it to a boy hanging over a railing.
Then he shed his wristbands. Next off were his shoes, which he gave to kids who were in an after-school program he sponsors. If Paul had any beads or doubloons, he would have surely tossed those, too.
For the last six years, Paul had given much to a city that had needed it -- on the court and in the community. His return last week, for the first time since engineering a trade to the Los Angeles Clippers in December, did little to change that.
Paul, who had rented a billboard downtown to thank the city after he was traded, bought tickets for nearly 150 students to attend the game. He shook hands with a security guard, he hugged an equipment manager, talked with former teammates and coaches and marveled at how much the triplet...