The story of Chris Paul’s career can be told in many different ways. Some love him, some hate him, but everyone agrees that CP3 is one of the best point guards in NBA history. Paul’s days with the Hornets, Clippers, and Rockets all had their ups and downs, but when Houston sent CP3 to Oklahoma in exchange for Russell Westbrook, the narrative seemed to revolve about the end of his career.
But instead of the inevitable fall-of, Paul would experience a complete resurrection of his career, form, and reputation. By leading a young and overlooked Thunder team into the playoffs as the #6 seed, Paul would show he still has a lot left in the tank. So as everybody was patiently waiting and predicting which contender Paul would join last year in order to get a ring, CP3 would surprise everyone and sign with the Phoenix Suns. A team that hadn’t seen the playoffs since 2010.
Sure they had some young stars in Booker and Ayton, but nobody had Phoenix even on the radar, except Chris Paul himself. While talking with Gilbert Arenas on his podcast, Paul explained why he eventually decided to join the Suns:
“Some people just think about going to a team. When I thought about going to Phoenix, people didn’t even know that was in my mind. I knew Monty already. Regardless of our relationship in the past, I know his mindset. I know he prepares. Don’t nobody know, that year I played for Monty [in New Orleans] … we started out 11-1. People don’t know that…How I operate in this point in my career. I’m like ‘Damn, Devin there he nice.’ I already know he a dog. Willie there. Willie Green, that’s my man. Off the court, I know him he’ll keep my mental side. So I was like man ‘This could work’“.Chris Paul, fubo Sports
Paul played under Monty in his last season with the New Orleans Hornets, starting their relationship over ten years ago. Also, Willie Green, who was Monty’s assistant, played alongside Paul in his Hornets days. So the familiarity with the coaching staff mixed with the prospect of teaming up with some young studs looked like a prosperous opportunity for CP3. Paul would bet on the Suns and hit the lottery, clicking with the whole team and elevating them to a level probably the organization itself couldn’t predict, going to the NBA Finals and being 2 wins away from a championship.
Even though it was a heartbreaking defeat, the success and optimism remained, as Paul signed a huge 4-year contract to most likely finish off his career in Phoenix and potentially dive into more championship runs. The team’s core led by Paul, Booker, Ayton, Bridges, and Crowder is still here, as with some added depth, the Suns could be one of the top dogs in the Western Conference once again. One thing is for sure, as long as they have Chris Paul on their team, they will have a winning culture within the group.