CHARACTER COUNTS

Chris Paul defended 10-day signee Emanuel Terry, changed heckler’s tone

Jan 7, 2022, 8:26 AM | Updated: 10:17 am
Phoenix Suns guard Chris Paul (3) reacts as he pulls down a rebound ahead of Boston Celtics center ...

Phoenix Suns guard Chris Paul (3) reacts as he pulls down a rebound ahead of Boston Celtics center Robert Williams III (44) during the first half of an NBA basketball game, Friday, Dec. 31, 2021, in Boston. (AP Photo/Mary Schwalm)

(AP Photo/Mary Schwalm)

Chris Paul may be nicknamed the Point God, but his status among basketball greats doesn’t make him forget about mere mortals. He does not see himself above the tier of basketball players who under more normal circumstances sit outside the NBA ranks.

Amid what turned into the Phoenix Suns’ thorough handling of the Los Angeles Clippers on Thursday night, TNT sideline reporter Chris Haynes revealed a telling story that painted that picture.

On New Year’s Eve with the Suns facing the Boston Celtics on the road, “a few fans” were chattering at Phoenix big man Emanuel Terry, who was on a 10-day hardship deal. The fans called Terry a “one-day guy” among other insults, according to Haynes’ reporting.

That’s when Paul talked back in defense of his teammate, telling the fans that players on 10-day contracts are the only reason the NBA has been able to push through a wave of COVID-19 cases.

According to Haynes, Paul told the fans to respect Terry, and Phoenix’s point guard directed praise to all 10-day players through the reporter’s story.

“I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart, to all the players with 10-day contracts who stayed ready,” Paul told Haynes. “You’re the reason we’re making it through this season and we couldn’t do it without you.”

The story gets better.

Terry told Haynes that one heckler from Boston sent him a direct message with an apology after the game.

Terry, who was in his second stint with the Phoenix franchise, has since been released by the Suns as they moved to sign Bismack Biyombo — another 10-day contract addition — for the rest of the year.

There are no hard feelings on Terry’s end, it seems.

Before Haynes even got his story out on the TNT broadcast, the big man tagged Paul in a tweet:

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Chris Paul defended 10-day signee Emanuel Terry, changed heckler’s tone