Paul, Scott prove that nice guys don’t really finish last

Published 12:00 am Friday, April 25, 2008

By Harold Keller

I drove up to my daughter’s house on Pebble Beach the other day and couldn’t help but notice a New Orleans Hornets yard sign.  It was colorful and read: “Fan Up New Orleans.”  In the center of “Fan Up” was a sketch of a serious-looking hornet.  I immediately thought back to the beginning of the season when the Hornets’ game tickets were hard to give away.  In fact, the owners had said that if the attendance didn’t increase substantially, the franchise would have to relocate.

This season, the Hornets are proof that winning cures a lot of ills.  Since the playoffs began, Hornet tickets are almost impossible to purchase.  Since midway through the season, the team has been playing to a full house and the fans are excited.

The Hornets moved to New Orleans from Charlotte, North Carolina eight years ago.  After two head coaches with not much success, their hired Byron Scott four years ago from the New Jersey Nets where he was successful.  

His first year, the team was 18-64.  Two years ago, they drafted Chris Paul as their No. 1 draft choice.  Last year, the team ended the season 39-43.  This year, with Scott’s leadership and Chris Paul performing as the league’s most valuable player, the team finished with a 56-26 record.  They defeated the Dallas Mavericks in the first two playoff games.

Byron Scott is evidently a good coach and, seemingly, a class individual who acts and dresses for success.  

Chris Paul plays the game he loves with a passion and has been an asset to the Hornets and the city of New Orleans.  One writer describes Paul as a man with a very warm and likeable spirit and walks in the spirit of humility.  Haughtiness and pride are not a part of his nature.  

The one thing I notice about Chris is that he dares to be different.  No gaudy, expensive earrings and no tattoos.  He seems to be just a clean-cut American, enjoying life and using his God-given talent.

Leo “The Lip” Durocher, a baseball legend, once said, “Nice guys finish last.”  Byron Scott and Chris Paul are proving him wrong.

If you have any questions, or comments, please write to Get High on Life, P.O. Drawer U, Reserve, LA 70084, call (985) 652-8477, or e-mail: