Phoenix Suns Chris Paul is regarded as one of the greatest point guards of all time, but former NBA big man DeMarcus Cousins doesn't believe he is among the upper echelon of PGs in the game's history.
Paul's been underwhelming this season.
Paul has recently returned to the line-up for the Suns following an ankle injury that has sidelined him for most of the campaign. Unfortunately for him, the Suns are 1-6 since he re-entered the fold.
As we've seen over time, the association is a fast and unforgiving business, and Paul's lack of impact and production since returning has caused concerns. As a result, murmurs have started around the league regarding the franchises' long-term future with him on the roster.
Does this affect his legacy?
Due to his lackluster performances, wider debates begin to commence around Paul's place among the greatest point guards ever to play, as the 37-year-old finds himself on the backend of his playing days.
Recently, long-time competitor DeMarcus Cousins made an appearance on the "Outta Pocket" podcast to give his thoughts on Paul's career and was emphatic in his belief that CP3 isn't a top-five point guard of all time.
"My question to you guys is, can we get a top-five all-time PGs list? Chris Paul shouldn't be on that list. Every time I hear a top-five PGs list Chris Paul is in it and I'm not really understanding why. No knock to CP. Strictly from an accolade and a performance standpoint, I don't think Chris Paul is top-five. We gottah bring up Steve Nash. We gottah bring up John Stockton. Then we gottah bring in Westbrook. I mean, he's an MVP, "Cousins said.
Cousins' comments are debatable.
Cousins' assessment of Paul goes against the grain, considering CP3 is well-regarded among his peers for his floor presence and ability to run an offense since day one. Notwithstanding, there may be some underlying truths in his opinion, particularly the performance aspect.
For many years, Paul's postseason success was a running joke as the six-foot guard hadn't made it past the second round of the playoffs until suiting up for the Houston Rockets alongside James Harden.
On the other hand, Cousin's comments regarding accolades may be quite misplaced. Despite not taking home an MVP award like the other names he mentioned, Paul's resume remains one of the more accomplished in league history for a backcourt player.
To date, CP3 has been named a 12-time All-Star, has 9 All-NBA selections including 4 first teams, has 9 NBA All-Defense nods including 7 first teams, won Rookie of the Year, has been a five-time assists leader, a six-time steals leader and has won two Olympic gold medals.
Over time the NBA community has shown us they have a short memory, and although it may be true that Paul is struggling individually now, averaging just 10.4 points and 8.8 assists while collecting $28 million in the process, his body of work suggests he has every right to be in the conversation among the top-five point guards ever to play.