4. The CP3.VIII gives Paul a physical -- and mental -- edge
Michael Jordan once told Paul how he would wear his craziest pair of new Air Jordans during the playoffs, in the hopes that his opponents might find themselves checking out his shoes, taking their focus off the game for even a split second. That story stuck with CP3.
Paul looks at his sneakers as sort of a secret weapon, bred to supplement his skills and make him that much more lethal. For example? The inside of the forefoot has a specific traction added to enhance one particular move, which helps him in more ways than one.
“When I go forward, one of my favorite moves is to stop, and pull back into a crossover,” Paul said. “I usually come up on my right toe, like on the inside of my toe. And I may just be tricking myself, but I feel like nine times out of 10, I’m always going to get enough separation to get away from my defender because … his shoe’s not made for him.”
Paul pauses, then laughs.
“Depending on who it is. And I feel like he’s going to keep sliding just enough for me to get my shot off.”
Not only does the CP3.VIII perfectly complement his favorite move, but it gives him that extra bit of confidence. That might just make an already great player just the slightest bit better.
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5. The CP3.VIII means the world to Chris Paul
Michael Jordan put his thumbprint inside the tongue of the Air Jordan XX3, so that everyone who laces them up touches it for just a second. Influenced by this, Chris Paul views his sneakers as a living history — and impressively, he can recount every last detail from memory, from his first sneaker to his last.
His first CP3 sneaker featured an initialed tribute to his late Wake Forest coach, Skip Prosser. His second had the names of his parents and brother grafittied onto it. The third had little family crests, his fifth had dots representing his wedding date and the VII’s had a VIN number of sorts representing his kids’ birthdays. A common theme throughout is a Chevron-esque logo to pay tribute to his late grandfather, whom he famously honored with a 61-point game in high school.
When you wear Paul’s sneakers, you’re helping to tell his story, while writing your own. And every time he laces up his sneakers, it makes him think of his family, giving him a quick pregame lift.
“I wish it made every shot go in,” Paul said, “but it doesn’t work that way.”
But it might make him feel like every shot is going to go in. And that’s about as good as it gets.
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During the two years it takes him to develop a new Air Jordan, Tinker Hatfield’s job doesn’t end when he leaves the office — Michael Jordan makes sure of that. At all hours of the night, Jordan calls the designer extraordinaire at home to make suggestions and tweaks.
“He’s not my wife,” Hatfield said with a laugh at the introduction for the Air Jordan XX9 back in April. “But it’s close.”
Among the many ways Jordan Brand progeny Chris Paul has followed in his idol’s footsteps is his attention to detail when it comes to his signature shoe. At August’s launch event for the new CP3.VIII, Paul waxed poetic for nearly a half hour about his passion for sneakers, and it was perfectly obvious he takes great pains to ensure that anything that bears his logo lives up to his high standards of quality and individuality.
Paul and designer Justin Taylor have presided over the evolution of his CP3 line, resulting in a sneaker perfectly designed for a quick-cutting point guard like Paul — light, yet supportive. And it’s obviously cliched, but if it’s good enough for the best point guard in the NBA, it’s more than good enough for you.
“When you get the opportunity to sit down with a shoe designer, you realize how hard it is, because everyone has their favorite shoes,” Paul said at the launch event. “But if you come out with your own shoe, you can’t just make it look like the Jordan III. You can’t just make it look like the Jordan XI.
“So it’s a really tough process to make it your own, and to make a dream.”
To celebrate the release of the CP3.VIII at Champs Sports tomorrow, here are 5 Things You Need to Know About Chris Paul’s New Sneaker.
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