On Tuesday night before their second game of the season, the Dodgers will welcome Clippers point guard extraordinaire Chris Paul to Dodger Stadium to throw out the ceremonial first pitch. The question is, will the crowd welcome Paul?
Last year, Paul brought his son to Dodger Stadium on Apr. 15, Jackie Robinson Day, and when he was shown on the video board in left field he was greeted by a hearty chorus of boos, with the venom almost palpable.
This was just four months removed from NBA commissioner David Stern vetoing a trade of Paul to the Lakers. I contended that the Los Angeles fans, which include far more Lakers fans than Clippers fans, were simply sore at the trade not going through and the ill will was directed at Stern and the nullified trade, and Paul happened to be the conduit for the booing.
When Paul is shown on Tuesday night on twice as many screens, and in high definition, will the reaction be any clearer?
A year later, I'm not so sure. On Monday afternoon the Dodgers showed a video of various celebrities and local sports stars showing that 'LA is ready for opening day.'
When the video got to Paul and Blake Griffin, there was a mix of cheers and boos. So I'm not sure what Paul should expect tonight. One would think the best player on the best team in the city, and one of the best teams in the NBA, would be cheered.
But this is a Lakers town, after all.