COLUMBIA — Missouri freshman guard Miguel Paul might have embellished his relationship with New Orleans Hornets point guard Chris Paul, according to several media reports.
Miguel Paul's player page in the Tigers' media guide says he is the first cousin of Chris Paul.
But according to a report by the New Orleans Times-Picayune, Chris Paul says he has never met or heard of the Missouri freshman.
According to the report, KOMU reporter Michael Kelly, an MU senior from Louisiana, approached Chris Paul after a recent practice while working on a story on the relationship between Miguel and Chris Paul. Chris Paul told Kelly he had never heard of Miguel Paul.
"I'm shocked at the fact that this may not be true, because Miguel said all of this stuff and you have all the comparisons at Missouri," Kelly told the Times-Picayune.
Blogs across the Internet picked up the Times-Picayune story. Jim Rome featured the story on his ESPN television program.
According to Missouri basketball spokesperson Dave Reiter, Miguel Paul and Chris Paul are in fact distant relatives, but not first cousins. Reiter said Miguel Paul's father Masha Paul is a distant relative of Chris Paul's uncle, James Paul.
In an interview for an article that ran in the Missourian on Nov. 17, Miguel Paul said he had met Chris Paul in December 2006 after the championship game of the Frank Spencer Holiday Classic tournament in North Carolina. Miguel Paul's high school team won the tournament championship and Miguel Paul was named MVP.
According to Reiter, James Paul was in attendance at one of the games and made contact with Masha Paul. Through their conversation, the two realized they had some relatives in common, Reiter said.
According to the Times-Picayune, Chris Paul said he does not remember attending the tournament or meeting Miguel Paul.
Reiter told the Times-Picayune that Miguel Paul told him he had met briefly with Chris Paul at the tournament.
The original Missourian story misidentified the location of the tournament. It was in Winston-Salem, N.C.