Kokkinakis Dishes On Chris Paul's Trade To Warriors & NBA Fandom

  • Posted: Oct 23, 2023

Kokkinakis Dishes On Chris Paul’s Trade To Warriors & NBA Fandom

NBA regular season begins this week

It is no secret that Thanasi Kokkinakis loves basketball, including the NBA. The Australian, who this week is playing an ATP Challenger Tour event in Playford, Australia, has long been a huge fan of all-time great point guard Chris Paul.

For years, one of Paul’s greatest rivals was the Golden State Warriors. Now, the 38-year-old is on the Warriors and Kokkinakis will be cheering him on as the season gets underway this week.

“I’m excited to see how it’s going to work out. It was a big trade. It’s going to be interesting,” Kokkinakis told ATPTour.com earlier this year in Washington. “They’ve been rivals for so long, so it’s going to be interesting to see with the Warriors.”

One of Kokkinakis’ early pinch-me moments came when as a teen he met the basketball icon around the 2013 US Open. Paul still follows the Aussie on Instagram today.

“We had the same agency and I saw him train when I was like 15 or 16 in New York for the US Open juniors,” Kokkinakis said. “So I met him and watched him work out in a private facility. So that was pretty cool.”

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Thanasi Kokkinakis (@the_kokk1)

Kokkinakis typically is a fan of whichever team Paul is playing for. But he follows all the teams and tries to watch the NBA wherever he is in the world.

“In Australia it’s not too bad when I’m home, because the time is okay. Usually the game starts early afternoon. And when I’m in America, it’s great obviously,” Kokkinakis said. “When I’m in Europe and it’s NBA playoffs and finals time, that’s when it’s a mess. I’ve had a few 3 a.m. wake-ups. It messes with my sleeping, that’s for sure.”

It was no surprise that when asked whom he’d like to switch places with for a day, he selected a basketball star.

“It would be probably LeBron [James]. I reckon it would be cool to be playing in L.A.,” Kokkinakis said of the Los Angeles Lakers star. “I reckon it would be too much to be honest. But that’s why for a day, I wouldn’t mind it. But being LeBron every day, I think that would carry a massive, massive amount of pressure. So that would be tough.”

As much of a Chris Paul-fan Kokkinakis is, he has respect for many of the game’s past and present stars. He picked another icon when asked which three people he’d love to go to dinner with.

“One would have been Kobe Bryant. Kobe Bryant would have been cool,” Kokkinakis said. “Conor McGregor would be interesting. I’m a big WWE fan. So maybe one of the wrestling legends. So maybe The Rock or Stone Cold, something like that.”

Had Kokkinakis not embarked on his life as a professional tennis player, “I would have liked to have thought I would have been a basketball player,” he said. “But I don’t know how good I would have been. I think being a basketball player or an actor or even an artist or a DJ or something like that.

“I like to go to music festivals. I like to listen to that. I obviously love my NBA. And I love driving. I love good cars. So that’s one of my things that I really enjoy doing.

“I like more sort of road cars and things that I can do. I don’t know how well I’d do behind a Formula One car. It’s probably a death sentence in the first sort of five seconds.”

Source link