Late in the Houston Rockets’ win over the Utah Jazz Monday night, Chris Paul was running the clock out when he high-fived a fan. Innocuous as it was, Paul was called out of bounds with 10 seconds left and his team up 11. The turnover didn’t do anything to change the end result of the game, so it was mostly just a funny occurrence ruined by the no-fun police in stripes.
lmaooo CP3 dribbling out the clock high-fived a fan and got ruled out-of-bounds Jazz ball pic.twitter.com/hl0ObwviWn
— Rob Perez (@WorldWideWob) February 27, 2018
After the game, though, when the Rockets posted a video of the high-five on their Instagram account, Paul’s teammate and MVP candidate James Harden identified the fan as his mother.
Chris Paul high-fived his teammates’ mom in the middle of a game and was called out of bounds for it. Technically the referee made the correct call, but I think he was missing the bigger issue here. In fact, Paul may have saved his career with this high-five.
What if Paul left Miss Harden hanging?
In what could have been a pivotal moment in the Rockets season, Paul managed to keep the peace with the best player on his team by doing what any normal person would do when someone around them raises their hand. But if he hadn’t, one could only imagine the hell that would break loose between Harden and Paul. Paul would have paid the ultimate disrespect to Harden’s mother, and I can’t imagine Harden would let that stand. Paul probably would have been traded over the incident and Harden would go back to being one accompanying piece away from taking his team to the top of the Western Conference. It would effectively change the landscape of the league.
Thankfully, though, Paul is one of the most experienced players on any court he steps on. This wisdom gave him the wherewithal to understand turning the ball over late in a win is worth it if it keeps the best team he’s ever been on from falling completely apart. Basketball turnover > family turnover. Well played, Christopher.