Chris Paul & Playboy Marty Will FINALLY Become NBA Champs

The NBA Finals start tonight at 9PM EST in Phoenix as the Milwaukee Bucks go out West to take on the Suns. I find myself way more excited for this Finals today than I have been about the NBA in a long time because of Chris Paul and my Barstool Sports producer Martin Black.

  1. Will Chris Paul Finally Become a Champion and get his due as one of the greatest Point Guards of all time?

Chris Paul has re-ignited his career in his mid 30s. I have been a fan of his since his New Orleans days from 2005-2010. I lived down there in 2009-10 and went to Hornets games all the time. Paul did so much great in NOLA during that era and management pissed it all away. The core of Paul, David West and Tyson Chandler almost got the Hornets to the Western Finals then GM Jeff Bower traded Chandler for Emeka Okafor and his horrendous contract. This move has haunted the franchise to this very day. 

Paul gave a lot to the city of New Orleans ESP with his Back to School Program to help at risk youth. I have always admired this especially after seeing how little Anthony Davis did for the city during his time down there. Paul did everything he could for that franchise and deserves zero blame for it not working out long-term.

Paul was traded to the LA Clippers in 2011 by the NBA after George Shinn lost ownership of the Hornets. The Clippers were solid from 2011-16 with Blake Griffin but never could quite live up to the immense hype. The biggest reason for this was the Golden State Warriors, who they could not beat. Looking back on that era, no one else could either. The bottom fell out for the Paul Clipper era when they blew a monster 3rd quarter lead over the Rockets in Game 6 of Western Conference semis and then got rolled in Game 7. 

Paul was traded to the Houston Rockets before the 2017 season. The Rockets forced a game 7 against Golden State in the Western Conference Finals behind James Harden only for Paul to have a hamstring injury. I hated this for him at the time as he had never gotten this close. The Rockets lost that infamous game 7 when Trevor Ariza went 0-12 from 3 and another big opportunity was squandered.

It never felt right with Paul and James Harden in Houston. Harden needs the ball to dominate the offense and it took Paul out of his natural point guard role. He was traded to Oklahoma City as an afterthought because of his massive contract (over 40 million a year!) before the 2019 season.  

Paul re-claimed his status as an NBA star that year leading a rebuilding OKC Thunder squad that was expected to win less than 30 games to the #6 seed. It was an incredible effort that had him in the MVP conversation. The Thunder decided to fully commit to rebuilding and move him in the offseason.

The Phoenix Suns have not made the playoffs since 2010 but had built a solid young corps behind emerging star Devin Booker and #1 pick DeAndre Ayton. Last season they went 8-0 in the NBA Bubble and had a ton of momentum despite falling just short of the playoffs. Former Pelican Coach Monty Williams did a spectacular job and clearly they were on the right path. They made the right move trading for Paul to build with their young corps and have been one of the best teams all season. Paul has worked wonders for Ayton’s maturity as a big man and Booker’s skill set meshes much better with him than James Harden ever did. 

The stars have aligned for the Suns this year too. They beat the #7 seed Lakers in six games in the first round after Anthony Davis got hurt. In the 2nd round they swept the #3 seed Nuggets who lost star guard Jamal Murray around the All Star break. In the conference finals, they beat the Clippers, who were without superstar Kawhi Leonard, in six games. Now they get to face the Bucks in the Finals with Giannis and his hyper extended knee. It takes A LOT to go right to win a championship and the Suns should be apologizing for nothing. This NBA Season and Playoffs have been a war of attrition after the bubble last year and COVID. There have been more injuries this year than any I can remember and Phoenix also had to overcome Paul’s shoulder injury against the Lakers in the 1st round.

  2.  Will Playboy Marty get to live his dream of seeing the Suns as NBA Champs?!?!?

My roommate and Barstool Sports producer Martin Black is the biggest Suns fans I have ever met. His twin brother Palmer actually works for them and his family is from the area. He will be going to Game 1 tonight with his brother. The last time the Suns made the Finals, Martin was 2 years old. This is at top of bucket list for him and his family.  I am thrilled for them.

I still remember Martin and I doing GameTime on 104.5 ESPN Baton Rouge with Jimmy Ott during the bubble last year when the Suns went 8-0. They did not even make the playoffs yet I have never seen a more excited fan. You would have thought they won the championship! He’s still heartbroken over the 2007 Suns getting screwed by the refs against the Spurs 14 years later and finally gets a shot at redemption. I always love seeing struggling teams and fan bases get shots at sports glory. Diehards like Martin deserve this after sticking with the Suns and their 12 year playoff drought.


Marty and I came to Barstool Sports in New York together last Halloween and he even told me to bet on Phoenix at 40-1 to win the title in November. It is a damn shame I did not listen! That would have been a heckuva fun sweat. The whole season we have watched late night Suns games in our tiny Air B&B in Hell’s Kitchen together. I want to see this championship happen for him and his family as it is abundantly clear how much the Suns mean to the Blacks. 

Tonight, the Barstool Sportsbook has opened the books for the Overs Club. If you bet $100 or more on Barstool Exclusives on Over 216.5 points in Game 1, you get a free Overs Club jacket when it hits!