After a decade of hardship and heartbreaks, could this finally be the year Chris Paul wins the MVP and the NBA title.
For long it has been felt that Chris Paul is too talented a player to have not played in the NBA finals. He has easily been his generation’s best Point Guard and one of the best floor generals in history. Ever since the retirements of Steve Nash and Jason Kidd, Paul has been the best playmaker in the NBA. However, his team record has not been as outstanding. It has often been argued that a good Point Guard should be able to elevate the level of his team as much as himself like Michael Jordan, Magic Johnson and LeBron James have been able to. But it must be noted that all those guys had great teams, either to begin with or after a few years in the league.
If Jordan had the benefit of Scottie Pippen, Magic Johnson always had the help of Jabbar, Cooper and James Worthy. Even LeBron James with all his talent, needed to move to Miami to win his first championship. It’s a similar case with Chris Paul. In his early years, Paul was playing with an average Hornets team and never had the team to win the title. He had a few good starters and role players, but no real all stars beside him who cold take over in his absence. As we have seen, no individual, no matter how talented, can win a title on his own. Wilt Chamberlain, Elgin Baylor, Michael Jordan, Kobe Bryant, LeBron James all tried and failed.
But this year, it looks like Paul and his Clippers team could be serious contenders if they continue their form and stay healthy.
In recent seasons, the Clippers have looked good only to fail in the playoffs either due to injury or lack of big game experience. Of course the Western Conference is stacked with talented teams from top to bottom, but the Clippers are a top three team this year. Having spent enough time in Los Angeles now, the core of this team has been together for many years and they are all clicking together. Each player understands his role, the coach and the staff and the organization are stable and the team in general is running like a well oiled machine. A major part for this transformation has to go to Chris Paul, as his exploits off the court are equally incredible as they are on it. CP3 is the President of the Player’s council and there is a reason for it.
Photo by Keith Allison