Two summers ago, New Orleans Hornets guard Chris Paul watched as one of his closest friends, center Tyson Chandler, was traded to the Charlotte Bobcats, effectively shutting down the alley-oop combination that came to be known as the "Crescent City Connection."

Days removed from the possible departure of longtime teammate and friend David West, who opted out of the last year of his contract with the Hornets last Friday (the official announcement was Monday), Paul said Thursday he hasn't pondered the prospect of never again taking the floor with West at his side.

"I don't try to think about it," Paul said Thursday at Tulane, where his foundation sponsored a 3-mile walk for children aimed at teaching them the benefits of physical fitness. "When D-West got injured this year . . . there's always an adjustment, always knowing that guy is next to me or behind me for that 17-footer, or able to throw it into the post. I can't imagine.

"Just like when Tyson left. If I didn't play with David West, I would have to alter my game."

Paul and West, who collectively have six All-Star appearances as Hornets, have been together since Paul came to New Orleans as the team's first-round draft pick in 2005, two years after West arrived in the same fashion.