Chris Paul appreciation thread

elindholm

edited for content
Joined
Sep 14, 2002
Posts
26,831
Reaction score
8,076
Location
L.A. area
It's well established that Chris Paul wears out his welcome after a few years with the same team. After six years each with New Orleans and the Clippers, Paul played on three different teams over the next six years, and now he's looking at another new team for next season.

But Paul also has an excellent track record of elevating the team he's on. The Clippers enjoyed their most successful run while he was leading the roster. The Rockets won 65 and 53 games in Paul's two seasons with them. The Thunder surprised everyone by going 44-28 in their one season with Paul.

In three years with the Suns, Paul averaged 15.1 points and 9.5 assists on 48/37/87 shooting splits. He played in 194 out of a possible 236 regular-season games. The Suns went from 34-39 in 2019-20 to 51-21 in their first season with Paul, then a franchise-record 64-18 the year after that. Paul led the league in free-throw shooting in 2020-21 and in assists in 2021-22.

Paul's record in the playoffs has always been a relative disappointment when compared to his regular-season brilliance. He is the only player in NBA history to have blown five 2-0 leads in best-of-seven series; no one else has more than three. The Suns went to the Finals in their first year with Paul, but were unceremoniously bounced out of the second round in each of the next two postseasons. In both the 2021 Finals and the 2022 second-round match-up with the Mavericks, the Suns and Paul stormed out to 2-0 leads, only to fold, adding to Paul's legacy as a choker.

Paul seems always to have an injury excuse in the playoffs. His numbers drop off, but those who have watched the Suns the last few years see not so much physical impairment as a lack of assertiveness. In some ways, Paul is the ultimate team player, but that means hoping that your teammates will come up big when the pressure is at its greatest. Paul may simply not be wired to step up and be The Man when the lights are at their brightest.

Nonetheless, Paul will be remembered as one of the greatest players ever to wear a Suns uniform. He is 3rd all-time in career assists and 4th in assists per game. He is 9th in career win shares and 6th in win shares per minute. He is a 12-time All-Star, has been on 11 All-NBA teams (including four First Teams), and is a certain Hall-of-Famer. Five times, he has finished in the top five for league MVP voting. When he's on, he dominates both sides of the floor with a brilliance that very few players in history have been able to match.

Devin Booker has been the face of the Suns franchise since he was drafted in 2015. But the Suns owe their current relevance as a contender to Paul. The Suns' postseason disappointments over the last few years reflect poorly on Paul, which is fair. But it's also reasonable to speculate that Paul took the Suns as far as they could go, and that it was only because of his leadership that they had the illusion of being better than they were.

It was time for the Suns and Paul to part ways, but we should remember him fondly, both now and far into the future.
 

Raindog

I didn't come here to be liked!
Joined
Apr 22, 2008
Posts
4,865
Reaction score
5,647
Agreed that Paul made a very impressive mark in his three years here and deserves credit for what he helped accomplish. I think we kind of knew there would be some limitations with him when we acquired him, given his age and past experiences. But he was definitely a key catalyst to the Suns' recent successes and will go down in their history as an exceptional contributor for this era of the franchise.

And talk about a storied recent history of legendary point guards... KJ, Nash, Kidd, and Chris Paul. Quite a run of HOFers (and a near one in KJ).
 

Cheesebeef

ASFN IDOL
Supporting Member
Joined
Jan 2, 2003
Posts
88,966
Reaction score
62,095
Loved what he brought to the table the first two years. Despite the disappointing, then humiliating ending of both seasons, those were pretty joyful years after the Suns went wandering in the desert for what felt like 40 years.
 
Last edited:

Hoop Head

ASFN Icon
Joined
Feb 4, 2005
Posts
16,245
Reaction score
11,273
Location
Tempe, AZ
Wish it has ended differently but something changed last postseason and he was never quite the same after the Pelicans series. Hope he is able to land elsewhere in the end because he deserves better than Washington.
 

Phrazbit

ASFN Icon
Joined
Oct 10, 2011
Posts
19,786
Reaction score
10,649
He's one of the greatest players in NBA history and he reached the peak of his team success here.

He was the first (of hopefully many) stars to deliberately make their way to Phoenix in the post-Colangelo era.

The guy is an ultimate competitor and the only reason he won't go down as the greatest point guard in NBA history is that his body constantly has betrayed him at the worst of times.

I expect him to be a great head coach in the Larry Brown mold. He will get a TON out of teams... but only briefly, before his intensity causes his players to revolt.
 

Covert Rain

Father smelt of elderberries!
Supporting Member
Joined
Jan 27, 2005
Posts
34,511
Reaction score
12,464
Location
Arizona
Appreciate the spark CP3 added to this team but at the end of the day he was completely unreliable. It's a shame because maybe if we got him a few years earlier he could have been more healthy. He has some unreal games with us for sure and that I am going to miss.
 

Zobaczcie suki

ASFN Icon
Joined
Aug 9, 2005
Posts
17,440
Reaction score
8,664
:notworthy:

One of the most amazing players I have seen in my lifetime. Although it was toward the end of his career, we were lucky to see him playing for Phoenix.

Godspeed CP3! May you have fair winds and following seas!
 

BirdGangThing

Casual Fan
Joined
Dec 27, 2019
Posts
12,472
Reaction score
16,073
Location
Arcadia
like they say father time is undefeated - I think the Suns got the last of his best and he helped Devin turn Phx into a destination - very appreciative for that
 
Last edited:

95pro

ASFN Icon
Joined
May 10, 2007
Posts
12,241
Reaction score
3,831
Good first year, he got old fast though and we caught his last good year as our first year with him.
 

Mainstreet

Cruisin' Mainstreet
Supporting Member
Joined
Oct 19, 2003
Posts
113,305
Reaction score
52,935
Chris Paul showed the Suns how to win.

Especially during his first season here, the last 5 minutes of the game was Chris Paul time. It was magical how he controlled the tempo at the end of games. He made closing out games look easy.

He helped the Suns turn the corner and made them a contender.
 
Top