Chris Paul's parents had rules about style when he was growing up.

"No earrings, no tattoos, no nothing," Paul says.

This provided a challenge for Paul, who says in terms of basketball players "the person who influenced me more than anybody was Allen Iverson."

So ...

"I tried to grow my hair out and get braids like A.I.," Paul says. "I actually got my hair braided for a game -- did that on the low. I got my hair braided, and my pops showed up to my game and saw that my hair was braided. He came down there and was like, 'You better not step on that court with them braids.'"

Paul didn't. He unbraided.

"Girl helped me do it in the bathroom," he says. "I played with the wavy hair."

That ended his experiment.

"Next thing you know I cut it because I couldn't be A.I.," Paul says.

Paul told this story while participating in a panel discussion called The Convergence Of Basketball And Culture as part of the Spalding Backcourt Fan Experience during NBA All-Star Weekend in Los Angeles. Actor Terrence Jenkins was moderator. The other panelists were NBA stylist Courtney Mays, Roc Nation senior vice president Lenny Santiago and SLAM editor-in-chief Adam Figman.

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