November 15th, 2002. Future NBA star Chris Paul’s life change forever. Not due to basketball, due to his grand father’s wallet. Five young boys jumped 61 year-old Nathaniel Jones. The boys bounded his wrists, duct taped his mouth shut, and beat him with pipes until he was dead.
Those five boys are currently sitting in jail. Some of them are on 14-year sentences, while some will never get out of jail again. Now on their television sets in prison when they’re allowed to watch, they see Chris Paul. The former New Orleans Hornets point guard (Pelicans), and current Los Angeles Clippers guard be one one of the NBA’s best players.
Chris Paul believes that the people who killed his grandpa deserve a second chance, however.
These guys were 14 and 15 years old [at the time], with a lot of life ahead of them. I wish I could talk to them and tell them, ‘I forgive you. Honestly.’ I hate to know that they’re going to be in jail for such a long time. I hate it.”
Paul’s 61-point game was the ultimate tribute to his granddad. Two days after his death, Paul suited up for his High School team as a senior at West Forsyth High School. Paul scored sixty-one points as a tribute to every year of his grandfather’s life, which also included Paul purposely missing a free throw to keep it at sixty-one. He then collapsed into his dad’s arms after the ending of the game in tears.
“Even though I miss my granddad,” Chris Paul said, “I understand that he’s not coming back. At the time, it made me feel good when I heard they went away for life. But now that I’m older, when I think of all the things I’ve seen in my life? No, I don’t want it. I don’t want it.”
Paul then went on after high school to continue this basketball career, as he excepted a full scholarship to Wake Forest. Paul was then taken with the 5th overall pick in the 2005 NBA Draft, and ever since then, he’s been the same player we all know today. Perhaps we will see Paul score more again some day for grandpa, or sends out a better tribtue for him. Who knows. The fact of the matter is Chris Paul is one strong man for what he did on November 17th, 2002 in honor of his granddad.
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