Final Play: Fred Hickman's Final Word - FOX 8 WVUE New Orleans News, Weather, Sports

Final Play: Fred Hickman's Final Word

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My final word tonight is 'farewell'. It is issued to New Clippers' guard Chris Paul, who thrilled Hornets fans for six seasons before being traded away last week for three nice players and a potential lottery choice.

I heard what many of you were saying. "how could CP-3 forsake us?". "why would he want to leave such a great city?". What does Los Angeles have that we don't have?".

Let's start at the top. NBA basketball is a business. And, if you didn't know it before the lockout, you should know it now.

It was owners versus players to an extent. But, even more so, it was big market owners versus those in the small markets. Mark Cuban, who owns the world champion Mavericks, was against the new CBA. And, he was against proposed trade with the Lakers which would have sent Paul to the Lakers for reigning 6th man of the year Lamar Odom.

'Not fair to the small market team (new Orleans). 'Competitive balance has not been achieved.' But, within hours after the cry for the little guy was uttered, Cuban went right out and signed Odom for his own team. He said on the Dan Patrick radio show that he got a call from Odom's agent asking if the Mav's were interested, and the answer was a short, sweet 'yes'.

So now, some of us here want to get steamed at Paul for leaving for what 'HE' perceives to be a better opportunity to win...NOW. I, for one, not mad at the guy. He was going to be here for 66 regular season games with nothing close to a guarantee of a playoff berth, and with less of hope of doing damage IF the Hornets get to the post season. He would leave at the end as a free agent with the Hornets getting nothing in return.

Instead, this Hornets' franchise gets three nice player, including future All-Star Eric Gordon...a lights-out shooter. The NBA has promised a new LOCAL owner within the next few months. Both the Hornets and Paul, who's done so much for this community, come out on the winning end.

Yes, I'm new here Chris. But, I love New Orleans. And, I thank you for leaving my city better than you found it. Farewell, Player, and good luck.
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