Friday, July 20, 2018

NBA Star Chris Paul on Hosting the 2018 Kids' Choice Sports Awards and His Other Hollywood Ventures [Updated]

The Houston Rockets point guard previews Friday's awards show, reveals the advice he got from previous host Michael Strahan and opens up about being a role model to kids.


Chris Paul | Credits: Allen Berezovsky/Getty Images

Houston Rockets point guard Chris Paul has shown he can dominate on the NBA hardwood, but as he takes the mantle of host for Nickelodeon's fifth annual Kids’ Choice Sports awards on Thursday, the nine-time All-Star is in a different mindset: Just have fun.

“It’s been a lot of fun. It’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity,” Paul told The Hollywood Reporter on Tuesday.

This will mark Paul's first time hosting an awards show on TV. The show, taping Thursday at the Barker Hangar in Santa Monica and airing Friday at 8:00pm ET/PT across the Nickelodeon network in the US, is an opportunity for Paul to step into the shoes of former hosts Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson and NFL legend Michael Strahan and be a role model for kids out there who one day want to be out on the court just like him.

And Paul likes that responsibility. He is the father of two children, son Chris Paul II and daughter Camryn. His children are a big part of his life, even accompanying him during his NBA press conferences and State Farm commercials. It’s a part of him outside of basketball that makes him excited about the road ahead.


Chris Paul, host of Nickelodeon Kids’ Choice Sports 2018

“The biggest thing is that I understand is: the way my kids look up to different people like [for example] my son and Cristiano Ronaldo. The way he looks at [Lionel] Messi because he loves soccer,” Paul said. “It really lets you know that there may be kids that look at you the same way. Even though I want those other guys to live their life and enjoy their life, I know from being their parent what it’s like when their eyes light up when they see them on TV. Now if that happens for me with a kid out there I want to make sure i’m doing the right things.”

Before Friday’s show, Paul took some time to talk about what advice he got on how to host the Kids' Choice Sports Awards. He also spoke about his Hollywood ventures, which include working with the upcoming documentary Crossroads and voicing a character in the upcoming Scooby-Doo cartoon series.

THR reporter Omar Sanchez: I heard you got advice from your kids. What have they been telling you while you prepare for the show?

Chris Paul: They kept asking me if i was going to get slimed. They asked me if they can slide down [the slime slide]. My kids, they just want to be involved they want to be around

Your kids are a big part of your life. So what was their reaction when they first heard you were going to host?

They started telling me about all the shows they watch on Nickelodeon. My daughter was telling me about Paw Patrol. They started talking about SpongeBob. My son actually watches the new Double Dare now. It’s been a lot of fun. It’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.

You’re lending your voice to a cartoon. What is that like being in a show that your kids can watch?

I enjoy doing all that stuff. Since I had kids, I go to the movies. I watch all the movies that they see. Having the opportunity to do the commercials at State Farm. Being around and get an opportunity to meet all these people. I felt voice-over is something I can do also in season. When you do that you don’t actually have to be on set and act. You can go to a studio and just do it.

With LeBron James heading to L.A. to join the Lakers and possibly working more with his production company, I wanted to ask what other ventures you’re looking into in Hollywood?

I have a production company and we’re working on a few different projects. We have a project coming out soon called Crossroads. It’s about a lacrosse team back home in North Carolina and some of the things they went through. I’m always trying to get into different avenues.

How involved were you with the project?

Very involved. We’re having a screening for it in North Carolina next month. Also with different projects coming up that I’m interested in with my team, we’re always trying to tell stories. I feel like I’ve been telling my story for 14 years now so I sort of know how to do it.

Back to the KCSA, Russell Wilson has been a past host. Any advice you got from him on how to host?

Not from him, but I talked to [Michael] Strahan. He’s a really good friend of mine and he’s hosted before. The biggest thing he said was just have fun. Today when I finally got a chance to get here and see the setting and the energy of it all, I think it’ll be fine.

Funny enough, Kids’ Choice is known for their slime, but there's this craze with kids now to make their own slime at home. Have you had to deal with the mess?

Oh yeah. My daughter especially. At the store you can buy the ingredients for slime. Now I don’t know whose idea that was but it doesn’t suit well for my household (laughs).

Hosted by Chris Paul, Houston Rockets’ point guard and former NBA All-Star MVP, Kids’ Choice Sports 2018 is the only show where kids celebrate their favorite athletes and the year’s most unforgettable sports moments in a superstar sports showdown. Airing Friday, July 20, at 8:00 p.m. (ET/PT) on everywhere you find Nickelodeon, Kids’ Choice Sports 2018 will be taped live on Thursday, July 19, from Barker Hangar in Santa Monica, Calif. Voting is open NOW! Visit KCS2018.com to vote for your sporting heroes, plus the latest KCS 2018 news and info!

Want to get slimed!? Play along with Kids’ Choice Sports like never before with the SCREENS UP app, available TODAY on the App Store and Google Play: https://at.nick.com/SCREENSUP!

Also, from TheWrap:

Chris Paul Says His Kids Told Him to Host Nickelodeon’s ‘Kids’ Choice Sports 2018’

“This is a once in a lifetime opportunity … and probably the first executive decision they’ve made,” Houston Rockets star and rookie host tells TheWrap


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Houston Rockets point guard and former NBA All-Star MVP Chris Paul hosted Nickelodeon’s “Kids’ Choice Sports 2018” on Thursday night — and told TheWrap that it was his own children who persuaded him to take over the slime-fest.

“Our summers are usually busy but when the opportunity came up, they went nuts,” Paul said before show about his nine-year-old son and daughter, who is almost six. “This is a once in a lifetime opportunity.”

When asked if they’ve advised him on other major career moves, the former L.A. Clippers player told TheWrap: “They help with the trade situation and where we go, but this is probably the first executive decision they’ve made.”


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Paul took over the hosting gig from Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson, who was a three-peat host of the messiest awards show in sports.

“Russell did a great job for the past three years, so for me it is just about making it my own. I am not coming in here saying I am trying to be Russell Wilson and outdo him, but the night is fun — it’s about the kids and celebrating the game.”

And who does Paul want to slime? NBA rivals LeBron James, Steph Curry? Nah, he’d rather keep it closer to home.

“I wish I could slime my kids or my wife,” he said, adding: “I think the coolest thing about the night is the Legend Award with the gold slime. I got to see Michael Phelps get slimed a few years ago, and the same thing with Kobe.”

This year, 2018 ESPYS host and former professional driver Danica Patrick had the honor of being doused with gold slime in recognition of her trailblazing achievements and outstanding sportsmanship.

Both the orange carpet and the Barker Hangar auditorium in Santa Monica, California, were packed with the biggest stars in the sports world Thursday night, with Paul, Wilson and Patrick being joined by the likes of Michael Phelps, Isaiah Thomas, Lindsey Vonn, P.K. Subban, Shaun White, Ronda Rousey and Antonio Brown.

Kansas Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce told TheWrap that he’d been a huge Nickelodeon fan since he was young. “I am going up against [former New England Patriots and Green Bay Packers TE] Martellus Bennett in a challenge … so if I win then I get slimed, which has always been a childhood dream of mine,” he said.

“I’d like to slime my brother [Jason Kelce], he plays for the Philadelphia Eagles,” he added. Wouldn’t we all?

LeBron James, Serena Williams, Odell Beckham Jr., Rob Gronkowski and Chloe Kim were among the big winners of the night, all now being the proud owners of the coveted mohawk blimp.

“Kids’ Choice Sports 2018” was taped live Thursday and will premiere Friday, July 20, at 8 p.m. (ET/PT) as a simulcast on Nickelodeon, TeenNick and Nicktoons.

See the full list of winners [here].

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More Nick: Nickelodeon Announces Kids' Choice Sports 2018 Nominees; To Honor Danica Patrick With Legend Award!

Originally published: Wednesday, July 18, 2018.
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