Stephen Curry and Chris Paul have had some epic battles throughout the past decade.
Thanks to a surprising trade this offseason between the Golden State Warriors and Washington Wizards, the two men now find themselves teammates.
The transition is already proving to be a little bit awkward.
Paul, one of the greatest point guards of all time, has expressed a desire to remain a starter with Golden State.
Chris Paul responds to potentially coming off the Warriors’ bench: pic.twitter.com/FbDd0SGqLm
— Warriors on NBCS (@NBCSWarriors) July 10, 2023
Given the Warriors’ current roster composition, however, it clearly more sense to bring Paul off the bench.
This week, Curry was asked about the growing uncertainty regarding whether Paul will get his wish about starting or not.
“The biggest thing is, it’s anybody outside our locker room asking that question,” Curry told Ron Kroichick of the San Francisco Chronicle.
“It’s not the time for that and we don’t even know the answers. It’s going to be on all of us to figure it out.”
Instead, Curry tried to redirect the conversation to all the potential Paul’s addition has to improve the team.
“The idea of me and Klay being able to run around screens and give teams a different look is exciting, because I’ve done it before,” Curry said. “Everyone is talking about the second-unit thing, but when I’m off the floor, you have another ballhandler (in Paul) who knows how to play the game and elevates the guys around him.”
While Curry’s desire to brush this line of questioning off is understandable, it is an issue that will need to get sorted sooner rather than later.
Last season, in what was inarguably a pretty weak individual statistical campaign for him, Paul still averaged 13.9 points, 8.9 assists, 4.3 rebounds and 1.5 steals per putting. He is deeply impactful on the court – but he is also 38 and injury prone.
Minimizing his minutes for the playoffs, it would seem, would be a win-win for all parties involved.
That said, it feels like there might be a certain prideful element in play here. Throughout his more than 1,300 career games played in the NBA since his rookie year, Paul has started in each one.
What an NFL offseason for the Washington Commanders. https://t.co/d0m7BpF1SK
— Game 7 (@game7__) July 14, 2023
Clearly he doesn’t want to break that streak.
That being said, given the problems that existed between Jordan Poole and the Warriors over the prioritization of personal goals over team goals – this is a bit of a troubling sign of things to come.
Will the Paul, Curry and Golden State be able to reach a resolution on this topic one way or another? Time will tell.