LAS VEGAS — Chris Paul labored out with new teammate Stephen Curry in Atlanta on Sunday morning earlier than touring to Las Vegas. His evaluation of the session: They didn’t miss too many pictures.
Evidently, Paul’s time with the Golden State Warriors is off to a flying begin.
The veteran level guard revealed quite a lot of issues in his first official interview session as a member of the Warriors: He isn’t able to concede that he’s not a starter, he doesn’t anticipate this to be his ultimate season as a participant and he gleans the identical pleasure from the sport now as he did when he was a child.
And as for the way it’ll all match, he doesn’t anticipate that to be an issue.
— Golden State Warriors (@warriors) July 10, 2023
“To not like sound loopy or whatnot, however on the finish of the day, it’s basketball,” Paul mentioned. “, it’s not mind surgical procedure. I’m going right into a state of affairs with a bunch of men who’ve been enjoying collectively for a very long time.”
Paul bought traded twice this summer season, first from Phoenix to Washington as a part of the transfer that despatched Bradley Beal to the Suns, after which once more to Golden State as a part of the transfer that despatched Jordan Poole to the Wizards.
It’s a transfer that the Warriors hope results in each short- and long-term beneficial properties. The 38-year-old Paul can nonetheless play; the 12-time All-Star averaged 13.9 factors and eight.9 assists this previous season for Phoenix, efficient nonetheless in his 18th season within the league.
He’s additionally not underneath contract after this coming season. Poole is coming into a four-year deal; the big-spending Warriors simply couldn’t preserve all their highest-paid gamers collectively given the constraints of the brand new Collective Bargaining Settlement.
“I’ve been lucky sufficient to play on three USA groups, ‘06, ’08 and 2012,” Paul mentioned. “It’s high-IQ basketball, guys that play off reads and whatnot, and what you be taught is you work it out. All people don’t have the solutions proper now. We’ll observe, I’m positive there’s going to be some issues that I’ve bought to be taught, some issues that they’ve bought to study me, however that’s the case with any workforce.”
He has appeared in 1,214 regular-season video games and one other 149 within the playoffs, and has began each single considered one of them. Nevertheless it clearly appears unlikely that he would supplant guards Stephen Curry or Klay Thompson in Golden State’s beginning lineup.
So, at 38 years outdated and about to enter his nineteenth NBA season, Paul might discover himself in a brand new place. However there may be an apparent tradeoff for the reason that Warriors will virtually actually be thought of a title contender going into subsequent season after successful 4 championships within the final decade — and Paul has by no means gotten his championship. He went to the NBA Finals with Phoenix in 2021, however the Suns blew a 2-0 collection lead and misplaced to Milwaukee in six video games.
“It’ll be a dialog for us when camp begins. … I feel we’ll determine all that stuff out,” Paul mentioned.
The histories of Paul and the Warriors have lengthy been intertwined. Paul has scored extra factors in opposition to Golden State than he has every other workforce – 1,172, which is 14 greater than he scored in opposition to the Los Angeles Lakers. He’s performed 18 playoff video games in opposition to them, tied for his most in opposition to any opponent; he’s additionally performed in opposition to San Antonio 18 occasions within the postseason.
Amongst energetic gamers, together with playoffs, no one has performed extra video games or has extra assists in opposition to the Warriors than Paul does, and LeBron James and James Harden are the one energetic gamers with extra factors in opposition to Golden State.
And there’s the historical past that Paul most likely needs he might neglect, how two of his greatest pictures at a championship have been thwarted by the Warriors. In 2018, Paul and the Houston Rockets had a 3-2 collection lead within the Western Convention finals earlier than he bought harm, missed the ultimate two video games and Golden State prevailed — on the best way to the NBA title. And in 2019, the Warriors beat Paul and the Rockets once more, that point within the West semifinals earlier than finally falling to Toronto within the NBA Finals.
He mentioned even his household can’t imagine he’s with the Warriors now.
“It’s what it’s,” Paul mentioned. “Sports activities.”
The Warriors will probably be searching for a fifth title in 10 years this coming season, and Paul has by no means received a hoop. However when requested if that was his sole motivation for nonetheless enjoying, Paul insisted that he simply nonetheless loves the sport — and intends to maintain enjoying for a number of years.
“I get an opportunity to play basketball every single day and say, ‘that’s my lifestyle,’” Paul mentioned. “So that you’re saying, ‘why do I do it?’ For a similar cause I did it after I was 4 or 5 years outdated. what I imply? I wouldn’t spend the time coaching and figuring out and hooping and being away from my household if I didn’t find it irresistible. That hasn’t modified.”
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