Chris Paul made history this week. For the first time in 1,365 total games (and 1,216 regular season games), the future Hall of Famer came off the bench for the Golden State Warriors in their Monday night showdown against the Houston Rockets.
The end result? A 106-95 win for Paul’s squad.
After the Rockets game, Paul was asked how he felt about coming off the bench at this juncture in his career.
“It was different… It’s whatever I gotta do to help our team win.”
Chris Paul on his first time coming off the bench in his career.
— CP3REGION (@cp3region) October 30, 2023
“It was different,” he admitted. “At the end of the day, it’s basketball… Once you get out there, it’s hooping. It’s cool to be on a team where you’re free-flowing. Everybody playing and sharing the ball…
“It’s whatever I got to do to help our team win. If it means that, it means not finishing some games, or whatnot. If you get a chance to play long enough in your career, there’s gonna be things that will change and be different. I’m here.”
That sentiment echoes what he told Anthony Slater of The Athletic earlier in the week.
“It works,” Paul said. “It gives us a bigger lineup. I’ve never been on a team probably with this type of depth. I’ve been on really good teams, don’t get it twisted. But not necessarily where you could say, ‘All these guys can start.’
“It’s talking. We’re communicating. We ain’t just coming up to somebody day of and saying, ‘Hey, this is happening.’ … A lot of time[s], people are scared to have those conversations,” he continued.
“But you got guys who have won, guys who want to win and everyone understands what they mean to the team. When you done played this long, you want to enjoy the people you’re around and you want to win.”
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— Game 7 (@game7__) October 30, 2023
Statistically, Paul did exactly what he needed to do against Houston. His numbers don’t jump off the page – but they were impactful. When it was all said and done, he finished with eight points, five rebounds and seven assists.
Obviously nothing is set in stone. The Warriors could opt to keep bringing Paul off the bench, or they could start him. Either way, though – clearly he is willing to play his part to ensure that Golden State has the best possible shot at winning a title this year.
A graduate from the University of Texas, Anthony Amador has been credentialed to cover the Houston Texans, Dallas Cowboys, San Antonio Spurs, Dallas Mavericks and high school games all over the Lone Star State. Currently, his primary beats are the NBA, MLB, NFL and UFC.