Chris Paul and Mookie Betts Could Go Pro in Another Sport if They Wanted To

Oklahoma City Thunder point guard Chris Paul will earn $38.5 million for the current fractured NBA season. The former No. 4 pick in the 2005 draft by the New Orleans Hornets has a net worth more than $120 million. Not bad for a part-time State Farm agent.

Former Boston Red Sox outfielder and 2018 American League MVP Markus Lynn (Mookie) Betts will earn $27 million (or some prorated portion of that) for the LA Dodgers. In his six years in the majors, Betts has accumulated more than $30 million in salary. He’ll earn even more after signing long-term, big-money contract with the Dodgers.

It is comforting to know that should basketball or baseball ever lose its appeal for these two superstars, the pair have another career to fall back on: bowling.

CP3 rolls for gold on the lanes

Related: Chris Paul Still Can’t Get Over Failed Career-Altering Trade

Chris Paul began bowling as a kid in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. His family was into bowling and rewarded him with a bowling ball as a Christmas gift when he was a senior in high school. To get him hooked, mom and dad got Chris a ball that resembled an ABA Basketball. That began his love affair with the game.

“My sophomore year in college I got really serious about bowling,” Paul said in an ESPN interview. “I probably have 20 bowling balls at home. I have this one bowling ball that’s like my baby. I can make that ball dance. I don’t have it with me. It’s in North Carolina. I should have brought it with me but when I have that ball I feel that you can’t touch me. It’s funny, when I have that ball I feel like I’m going to strike every time.”

The NBA star hosts the Chris Paul PBA Celebrity Invitational charity event which benefits the CP3 Foundation. The event usually airs on Super Bowl Sunday and draws high ratings on whichever network it airs. PBA officials love Paul’s involvement with bowling and especially like that the NBA star brings a younger demographic to the game.

“There are a ton of people who don’t even say anything to me about basketball,” Paul said. “They come up to me and they’re like, ‘Hey, you bowl. We should go bowling.’”

Mookie Betts rolls a perfect game

Related: Will the Dodgers Be Able to Keep Mookie Betts in 2021?

Mookie Betts could walk away from baseball and become an instant bowling legend.

In 2010, Betts was named Tennessee High School Bowler of the Year. In 2017, Betts competed in the PBA World Series of Bowling IX during which he rolled a 300 game. He has participated in Chris Paul’s celebrity bowling event three times, winning the doubles title in 2019 with partner and Hall of Fame bowler Tommy Jones.

“Bowling is a sport I’ve enjoyed with my family since I was a kid,” Betts said. “It brings a sense of community that’s important in my life.”

Between Betts’ 300 game and Chris Paul’s lifelong love of — and participation in — the game, it’s not unthinkable to believe they could be PBA stars if they decided to focus on bowling.

Jerome Bettis and Terrell Owens join Paul and Betts on the lanes

Chris Paul and Mookie Betts could be bowling pros if they dedicated themselves to the sport, but bowling is popular among a host of athletes, many of whom believe they have what it takes to be pros.

Jerome Bettis, former Pittsburgh Steelers running back and member of the NFL Hall of Fame, is an avid bowler. He owns the Motown Muscle of Detroit team of the PBA League while Marshawn Lynch and Earl Thomas host an annual charity bowling event that benefits their respective charities.

Hall of Fame wide receiver Terrell Owens, who claims that he once bowled a 288 game, believes he has the talent to become a pro bowler. Owens owns the Dallas Strikers of the PBA League.

“I’m not just making a cameo,” Owens said. “I know critics want to come out of the woodwork. But when I first got on a football team I wasn’t very good.”