Thunder news: Chris Paul will is heading to his 15th season in the NBA, and even though he’s already way past his prime, he’s still one of the best point guards in the league. His motivations for playing at a high level is the same as every other player, but there’s one more thing that drives him to be great, his competitive spirit.
In an interview with ESPN, CP3 said that he’s seen a lot of guys become contented by just having the opportunity to play in the NBA, adding that his competitiveness drives him to keep going, to keep getting better.
“My competitive nature. And my family and my team — all my homies that I grew up with and everybody who supports me. I think when I go out and play, it’s never just about me; it’s about my whole squad. I feel a lot better than I did a few years ago, and that’s just from experience, learning and never just being satisfied. I think one of the biggest issues with a lot of people is they get in this league and they get complacent, and they’re like, “Oh, I’m here. I’ll just be here.” No. There’s somebody coming to try to take your job. And for me, that’s not an option. You’re not taking my job. No.”
Last season, Paul averaged 15.6 points, 8.2 assists, 4.3 rebounds, and 2.0 steals for the Houston Rockets, and after being traded to OKC back in July, he will have another opportunity to become an alpha male of a team for the first time since his days with then-New Orleans Hornets. He already said that he’s ‘feeling better’ at age 34, and for the Thunder fans out there, that should encourage optimism heading into next season.
Of course, one of the main concerns about CP3 at this stage of his career is his ability to stay healthy. Over the past couple of seasons, he has been riddled with injuries that had a significant impact in the Rockets’ bid to win a championship. Back in the 2018 playoffs, he was out for half of the Western Conference Finals against the Golden State Warriors because of a hamstring strain, and Houston ended up losing that series.
If Paul will be able to stay healthy for the majority of next season, OKC can be a really good team. They have enough talent in there to compete for a playoff spot, and who knows? A change in scenery might just be what CP3 needs to remind everyone that he can still be an elite point guard.
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