The Clippers guard led the U.S. Olympic team in steals and was second in assists en route to a gold medal. He and his wife, Jada, had their second child, Camryn Alexis, last Thursday.
DAN PATRICK:What was more emotional, seeing your baby girl or winning gold?
CHRIS PAUL: Definitely seeing my baby girl. I have a son who's three. I was a little hesitant about this girl thing, but everyone's been telling me it changes your life. Chauncey Billups has three daughters. He's been giving me pointers.
DP:How tired are you from the Olympics and being in the delivery room?
CP: It's been a whirlwind. When you're over in London, you almost forget everyone at home is watching. We're all in a hotel, we're together all day, every day. When you get here, everywhere you go, everyone says, "Congratulations." It's pretty special.
DP:Do players become too unselfish on the U.S. team?
CP: At the beginning of the trip Coach K told us, "Don't leave your ego at the door; bring your ego in." That's what made our team so special. That's what makes him such a great coach. He has an ego just like us players.
DP:When you were in college [at ACC-rival Wake Forest], what did you think of Coach K?
CP: Let's just say we didn't get along.
DP:The best point guard in L.A. is ...
CP: I'm a little biased.
DP:You're not nervous about Steve Nash going to the Lakers?
CP: Why should I be? You have to play the games.
DP:How do you think the media would have reacted if you'd lost the gold medal game?
CP: Man, good thing we don't have to worry about that one. What made our team bond and what made the experience that much sweeter was 2006. I was on the world championship team that lost to Greece. LeBron James and Carmelo Anthony [also] lost in the Athens Olympics. We had guys on our team who knew what it was like [to lose]. Right before the fourth quarter [of the gold medal game] we all huddled up. I said, "We worked way too hard and played too many games to come up short now."
DP:How do you think an NBA title would compare to a gold medal?
CP: I don't have an NBA championship to compare it to. But there is nothing greater for me right now than having this gold medal. When you're at the Olympics, anytime you see someone with a U.S. T-shirt, you give them a high five. You feel like you're on the biggest team you've ever been on in your life.
DP:Where is the gold medal right now?
CP: At the hospital.
DP:Your wife has it?
CP: My son. When we got home, he said, "Daddy, I want it." He took it, and he was swinging it around, about to hit every wall in the house. My wife and my mom got him a little gold medal made that says LONDON 2012 BASKETBALL.
DP:Best player in the world is ...
CP: I'm a little biased on that, too.
DP:I'm talking to the best player in the world?
CP: I would like to think so. If you ask [my son] Little Chris, he would say that. [Pauses.] No, he'd probably say someone else.
DP:Would he say LeBron?
I don't know if I could get into medical school right now, but I'm probably closer than I was before, with all the medical jargon I've learned over the past year and a half."
—PEYTON MANNING, Broncos quarterback, on exploring various treatments for his injured neck
I asked Dolphins running back Reggie Bush if there is anywhere players can hide from the Hard Knocks cameras. "Yeah, home," Bush said. "You have to focus and go about your business as if the cameras aren't even there."... Former Colts coach Tony Dungy shared his impression of rookie quarterback Andrew Luck after visiting Indianapolis's training camp: "I saw Andrew's first practice, and [after] 10 minutes I said [he] was the best player on the field."... U.S. men's basketball coach Mike Krzyzewski takes exception to critics of LeBron James after coaching him during the Olympics. "All the stuff that he gets from people, it's just ridiculous," Coach K said. "He's a fantastic leader, and he's as smart as anyone playing any game. The guy is brilliant, and he's a good guy."... Al Michaels told me his go-to impersonation at speaking engagements is former broadcasting partner Howard Cosell but that he has to stop doing it. "A generation and a half has come and gone since Cosell was there," Michaels said. "Half the audience looks at me like, What? Who?"
MICHAEL J. LEBRECHT II/1DEUCE3 PHOTOGRAPHY (PATRICK)
JOHN BIEVER (PAUL)
PAUL ARCHULETA/FILMMAGIC (BUSH)
PAUL DRINKWATER/NBC PHOTO (DUNGY)
SIMON BRUTY (KRZYZEWSKI)
NBC SPORTS (MICHAELS)