Some days I feel bad for Chris Paul since he's such an all-time great point guard and hasn't won a championship. Then again, CP3 is annoying even from afar. It came as no surprise when JR Smith and JJ Redick recently joked around on the latter's podcast about how fucking agitating the Point God is much of the time, even though they allegedly love him as a teammate.
You can see why Paul is such a polarizing player. At least personally I feel so conflicted about him for a variety of reasons. Whatever qualms I have, one thing anyone can give CP3 credit for is that he's nothing if not a relentless competitor. That's how you wind up grinding through years of frustration, falling short on the big stage of your sport and almost sadistically coming back for more.
Imagine this wily vet looking at the NBA officiating assignments ahead of Tuesday's tip-off and seeing "Scott Foster" as the head referee.
Good thing the NBA's script doctors probably don't want to see a team with the likes of CP3, Kevin Durant and Devin Booker get bounced too early. It's likely luck of the draw to blame for the Paul vs. Foster beef. All's well that ends well, right?
Except this is far from over. The stakes will only be higher the next time Foster is assigned to a Suns game. Was there a little in-game diplomacy going on, by the way? Seems like CP3 had some choice words for his archenemy — and rightfully so.
In a few weeks or so, Paul will turn 38, and until he put on the show he did in Game 2's romp over his Clippers, I was about ready to smack him with the "washed" label.
But this is Chris Paul we're talking about. He will not quit. The modern Sisyphus pushing that boulder up the hill, forcing his way through an 18th NBA season just for one more crack at that elusive title. And I doubt the 12-time All-Star calls it a career after these playoffs either — unless it ends with a Larry O'Brien Trophy. It's one thing for the Zeus-like physique of LeBron to last two decades at the highest level of basketball. It's another for the diminutive Paul to be pushing that milestone.
When LA was up by double digits in the second quarter and Kawhi Leonard was firing on all cylinders, Phoenix looked flat and dead in the water. Sure felt like Ty Lue was about to coach circles around Monty Williams for a second straight contest, and leave the desert with a 2-0 lead. That is especially so given the history between Foster and Paul. Talk about overcoming adversity, right?
Seriously, the Suns would've been all but done for if they'd lost twice on their own court to a Paul George-less Clippers squad. I know the Lakers are the big brother hoops franchise in LA, but that deficit would've been damn near impossible to overcome. With the way Paul, Booker, KD and the rest of the Suns played, it seemed they sensed the urgency of the moment.
As great of a true team win as this was for the Suns, we've clearly witnessed something bigger. The lifting of a curse that had no end in sight. Let's make sure we congratulate CP3 in proper fashion for improving to 1-13 against Scott Foster. Gotta take the wins where you can get 'em at this time of year. Must be the sweetest first-round playoff victory Paul has ever had. There cannot be a close second.
I mean get a load of this dude…in FEISTY defiance of Father Time.
Not sure I'd poke the beastly bear that is the Board Man, because as we know, the Board Man gets paid.
Still will never forgive CP for this bullshit (among other offenses) on Boogie Cousins, either.
Give me a Kings-Suns Conference Finals where Boogie returns to Sacramento, with cruel intentions to hard-foul Paul (but not injure him, come on) and let Foster be the crew chief for at least one of those games!
Do people forget Cousins averaged 10.6 points in 11.4 minutes during his five playoff games with the Nuggets in 2022? Boogie can still wiggle!!