How Chris Paul puts on his crazy face

— -- This story appears in ESPN The Magazine's April 13 Point Guard Issue. Subscribe today!

The Ranking of the Guard
Overall Score

9.09
Leadership
9.29
Average: 6.10
Rank: 1st
Defense
8.42
Average: 5.93
?Rank: 1st
Passing/Playmaking
9.61
Average: 6.80
?Rank: 1st
Shooting/Scoring
8.77
Average: 6.65
?Rank: 5th

I'M LIKE A maniac when it comes to basketball. I watch so much basketball. I just watch it and study it all the time. When we're on the road, I'm always on Synergy or YouTube, religiously, watching our games and all the shots I took. When I'm at home, I'll watch games on my iPad. They constantly update it for me, with every shot I've taken this season. A lot of times, I'll have someone drive me to the game so I can watch game film -- and so I don't get too mad about the traffic. From the time I get into the car until I arrive at the arena, my mind is always on the game.

When the game starts, that's when I become a different person. I "click out" during the jump ball. I have a lot of friends in the league, but they know: The moment that ball goes up, I'm different. On the court, I'm playing, so I'm more intense. It's like a different world. I'm going to do anything I have to do to win. It's a mindset.

I know what I was like when I was in my first years in the league. When we'd play Phoenix, I wanted to win the game, but I also wanted to go at Steve Nash. He was the guy, so I needed to see what I had against him. And I know guys are coming at me now -- but now I just want to win the game.

After the game's over, it might take me awhile to get over what just happened. A lot of times, my wife hears it on the way home. We get home and we may be eating dinner and I may just sit there, shaking my head. ... She knows what it is already.