Pelicans: Pre-draft, Byron Scott took prospect Chris Paul to… TGI Fridays?

Chris Paul, New Orleans Pelicans (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)
Chris Paul, New Orleans Pelicans (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images) /

Chris Paul was taken to a fine dining establishment before the Pelicans drafted him

Chris Paul, one of the greatest draft picks in New Orleans Pelicans history, didn’t want to come play for Nola. Of course, he ended up in New Orleans for the first six years of his career, nearly advancing to the Western Conference Finals.

In fact, prior to his workout with the team that ultimately sold them on taking the highly sought-after prospect fourth overall, Paul wanted to skip his workout in order to convince the team not to take him, positioning himself to go to the Atlanta Hawks.

Paul cited that the location of Atlanta was ideal for him in staying close to his home state of North Carolina.

Eventually, though, a conversation with his agent and the Pelicans forcefully saying they’d take him with the fourth pick convinced him to go to New Orleans for the workout.

Chris Paul speaks on his pre-draft process with the New Orleans Pelicans (Hornets)

Speaking to Darius Miles and Quentin Richardson of the Knuckleheads podcast, Paul said:

"“And so after I worked out for Atlanta, I got back to the hotel, my agent called me and was like, ‘uh, New Orleans wants you to come work out tomorrow.’ And I was like, nah, I ain’t goin’. My agent said, ‘they said if you don’t come, they’re going to pick you anyway.’”"

He also revealed a strange meal location that head coach Byron Scott took Paul to.

Chris Paul was taken to TGI Friday’s by Byron Scott before being drafted

"“I went to eat with Byron Scott, TGI Fridays. Then I had a workout.”"

Usually, when coaches or team employees take prospects out around town, they show them the bright stuff. The nice houses they can have, the lavish entertainment spots they can afford, and the wonderful gourmet restaurants.

Don’t get me wrong. TGI Friday’s is a good spot. If you want some potato wedges or a good burger, it’s a great sit-down meal for someone on a budget.

But when you’re trying to sell a young player soon to become a multimillionaire in your city, wouldn’t you take them to somewhere nicer?

Especially in New Orleans where you have some of the best seafood and shrimp in the entire United States at your disposal. It’s the most unique cuisine and culture available, so why take him to a standard restaurant found in nearly all 50 states?

To be fair, it’s a safe bet. The cuisine options in New Orleans can be somewhat foreign to a visitor. There’s no guarantee the guest will enjoy it.

At TGI Friday’s, everyone can find something they like.

Next. 15 best draft picks in Pelicans history. dark