The commercials are fun and yet another avenue for Chris Paul to push his brand across the sporting landscape. Even the commercial he recently did with Clippers teammate Blake Griffin, another big-time pitchman, has Paul feeling good about his outside ventures.
But make no mistake, Paul said, he is playing the game of basketball to win an NBA championship.
Of course, the endorsements and commercials are a byproduct of Paul’s success on the court, something the Clippers’ All-Star guard fully understands.
“I try to do as many of the commercials as possible during the summer,” Paul said. “Doing the commercials and stuff is a lot of fun. But I never let that take away from what the main priority is and that’s basketball. I want to win a ring.”
Paul helped the Clippers reach franchise landmarks last season — a first Pacific Division title, a franchise-best 56-win season, a franchise-best 17-game winning streak — but he still didn’t get that championship.
The Clippers’ loss in the first round of the Western Conference playoffs to the Memphis Grizzlies led to changes, starting with letting coach Vinny Del Negro go.
With Paul’s blessing, the Clippers brought in one of the NBA’s best coaches in Doc Rivers, who also is the team’s senior vice president of basketball operations.
Then Paul signed a five-year, $107.3-million contract extension.
The Clippers acquired J.J. Redick, Jared Dudley, Darren Collision and Byron Mullins. They re-signed Matt Barnes and Ryan Hollins and drafted Reggie Bullock from North Carolina in the first round.
Paul believes he has plenty of weapons on his side.
“I’m excited about all our additions. I’m excited about the season,” Paul said in a telephone interview. “I can’t wait. It’s all a process. I don’t like to get too far ahead of ourselves. I feel like we’ve got to come in Day 1 and be ready. I think this entire season is all going to be about sacrifices.”
Paul, 28, and Griffin, 24, will be expected to carry most of the load for the Clippers during the 2013-14 season. They have spent a lot of time together this summer.
They went to China on a promotional tour for their athletic shoe company.
They went to the NBA summer league in Las Vegas.
And Paul and Griffin did a Foot Locker commercial together.
“We’ve been some kind of busy,” Paul said Monday from North Carolina, where he was visiting family and preparing for a basketball camp. “The commercial was fun too, man. We had fun shooting it. We’re basically making fun of Blake, for the fact that he’s always in every commercial that comes on TV.”
Still, the main thing for Paul is playing basketball and winning.
He said Rivers and his staff of associate head coach Alvin Gentry and assistants Tyronn Lue, Kevin Eastman and Armond Hill will push the Clippers to new heights.
“I’m excited about the coaching staff. I’ve got a chance to meet everybody,” Paul said. “I’ve known Kevin for a while from doing the Nike camps. I played against ‘T’ Lue for five years in the NBA.
“So this is going to be my first time having a coach that I’ve played against. I definitely know that I’m getting older. So, I can’t wait for the season to start.”