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Chris Paul on being labeled an annoying manipulator “Who's fault is that?? That's my fault??”


I'm going to be honest - Chris Paul has consistently been on my "Top 3 most annoying players to watch" list. Fishing for fouls and constantly, and I mean constantly, bit**ing to the refs is unbearable. But after hearing him address the criticism of being an annoying manipulator, I have to say I'm changing my mind. The man has a point.

The rip through

The NBA has changed certain rules to eliminate players starting a possession contemplating how to get fouled. The idea is to score the basket, and if the only way a defense can stop you is to foul you, kudos to you. But starting a possession with the sole intention to fish for a foul was ruining the game. The main "target" of this rule change was undoubtedly James Harden, but Chris Paul was not far behind.

When it comes to CP3, one of the most infuriating moments in every game is him getting the rip-through call. A lot of players think it shouldn't be a foul. Here's the Point God's thinking on the topic.

I actually play defense. I know how to guard a guy without putting my arm in there, especially if that's what the guy likes to do. We get paid a lot of money, to watch a lot of games, and you mean to tell me on the damn scouting report, it's not on there I'll do the rip through??? Who's fault is that??

Chris Paul, The Old Man & The Three

Can't argue with that. Is there a way to defend without giving him the opportunity for a rip-through? So do it then. And it's not like Paul thinks all fouls called are OK. He agreed Harden's move where he is the one to put his arm underneath a defender's arm, initiating contact, and then start flailing as if he's getting pulled down is BS and has no room in the game. But he again stressed a very fair point - don't get mad at him, yell at the defender.

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At what point will we hold guys accountable for knowing the game? If I get the ball, late [in the game], down the stretch, and I call for a ball screen, and you're not thinking enough not to get into the ball like that [reaching in] - that's my fault?? But I can see how it can be frustrating.

Chris Paul, The Old Man & The Three

The ultimate proof Paul appreciates smart players is the sense of humor he had about Devonte Graham. He brought it up - the young man got him with his move.

Arguing with the refs

You may think, ”OK, I'll be frustrated by the defenders from now on, but what about all the talking to the refs??” I get you; Paul's tendency to argue what seems to be every little call slows the game down and makes it unwatchable at times. I remember Bill Simmons talking about not going to Clipper games because Paul and Doc complained about the refs so much it became a team ethos that was unbearable.

Paul acknowledged it can be frustrating but pointed out that yet again, it's not his fault if he knows the rules and the ref makes a mistake. As the man says, he's getting paid millions of dollars to do his job, and that means knowing the opponent and the rule book. It's not his fault others don't do the same.

You know if you get fouled in the middle of the court, you get to choose which side you want to get the ball out? I got a tech recently; we got fouled in the middle of the court. I want to take the ball on the left side, so when I get the ball I'm coming to my right hand. The official was like “NO, over here! The rule is...” So now I'm mad. You think I'm trying to show you up, I'm just going by the rules.

Chris Paul, The Old Man & The Three

To ease his mind, Paul asked the competition committee, and it turned out he was right, and the ref was wrong. Redick added that CP3 is a maniac who watches every game and knows the rule book inside out. If it ever comes to it, you should bet that Paul knows the rules better than most refs.

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