Chris Paul has one of the most exciting careers an NBA player could have. After being a franchise player on two teams, Paul had a short stint as a journeyman. During this time, critics thought his career was close to over. The narrative was that CP3 would go down as one of those greats who will never win a title, or even become a serious contender.
Paul was well-aware of this. Speaking with former teammate JJ Redick, the Point God recalled how getting sent to the Houston Rockets was a wake-up call.
"Always remember that the team that drafted you sometimes has some type of loyalty towards you. Like when it's your team, it's your team. Some crazy stuff happens and you got to go your separate ways or whatnot but it's something to be said about being your team. Because even though I went from New Orleans to the Clippers, like when I went from the Clippers to Houston, that was a damn wake-up call. You know what I mean? Like you get there and it's like 'Hey nice to have you here,' but it wasn't no loyalty from nobody to me there," Paul ">said.
The Point God understood that though he was an All-Star caliber player, the Rockets belonged to James Harden. His task was to fit in Mike D'Antoni's offense which was already tailor-made for the Beard. D'Antoni's offense consisted of nothing but 3-pointers and lay-ups during that time. This wasn't exactly how CP3 approached the game as a pure point guard.
"I do this"
However, Paul shared that fitting in was just one of the challenges he faced both in Houston and Oklahoma City. Chris noted that his teammates were somehow shocked after making a crazy shot or a clutch basket. He had to remind his teammates at what he does: make baskets that an All-Star would. But his teammates fed into the narrative that he was almost done.
"When I got to Houston, I remember when our first games or something like that. We were playing somebody and the game was kind of close or something like that. I looked at James, I was like 'Yo give it to me, give it to me.' And I scored or whatever and everybody was like 'Hey yeah!' And I'm like 'What the hell are y'all so excited about? I do this'" Paul narrated.
Chris Paul, ">The Old Man & The Three
Paul realized that he had to prove himself over again. Yes, people knew of his stature as one of the most intelligent players in the league. At the same time, the only thing they cared about was rings. If Paul failed to guide his team to victories, then his stature would be nothing but a thing in the past.
Safe to say that the episode in Houston is powering Paul to this day. After making it to the NBA Finals last season, the Phoenix Suns have been out for vengeance. Many believe that this is their year. This is the season that the Point God might win his first title.