Chris Paul didn’t play at the Rio Olympics in part to spend time with his family. Turns out, his son may have wanted it the other way.
Last week, Michael Phelps said an unnamed basketball player told him that the player’s son asked the player why he wasn’t playing ball at the Olympics this year.
“Daddy, how come you weren’t there this time?” Phelps said on The Dan Patrick Show. “I think he is going to go back and play at the Games for that reason.”
In this week’s Sports Illustrated, Phelps revealed that the player was Paul, the Los Angeles Clippers point guard who played in 2008 and 2012.
“I played golf with Chris Paul in September,” Phelps said, according to the magazine. “He didn’t go to Rio, and he told me, ‘Wait until your son is old enough and he says, ‘Daddy, why aren’t you out there?’ Chris said when he didn’t go this time, his son was asking him every day why he wasn’t there.”
Paul will be 35 years old come Tokyo 2020, which will be older than any previous U.S. Olympic men’s basketball player except for Jason Kidd in 2008 and Larry Bird in 1992.
In March, Paul mentioned his son’s interest in the Olympics. Chris Jr. is now 7 years old.
“Just a few days ago, little Chris asked me, ‘Daddy, will you play in the Olympics again?'” Paul said, according to SI. “Part of me wanted to say yes, because he’s never been part of it. But I told him, ‘I want to spend more time with you.'”Follow @nzaccardi