December 7, 2023

Brighton Journal

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Thompson: Chris Paul and Steve Curry’s union proves that life is a flat circle

Thompson: Chris Paul and Steve Curry’s union proves that life is a flat circle

Chris Paul is a warrior.

This fact alone is enough to question whether we have passed on to another world. But it gets more complicated.

Chris Paul will likely come off the bench on the Warriors team led by Steve Curry, and is definitely embracing the role of co-star Curry. Ten years ago, this would have been blasphemy. Five years ago, not likely. A day ago, I would have said no way.

Looks like Carrie was right. He said “This is not 2014 no mo“And he wasn’t lying.

Chris Paul is a warrior.

This is like the Green Goblin teaming up with Spider-Man. Mentor and his friend turned rival – turned ally again. After that, Diddy will join Death Row Records.

There is some poetry in this Golden State bombshell, and some intrigue in this plot. But it was set up as a warm punctuation for the relationship between Carrie and Paul. One that is at least 15 years old.

There is something noble about both of them doing this, Paul for his humility and Carrie for his respect for the OG. Warriors fans won’t love it, after spending the better part of a decade rooting against Paul as Curry. But Carey doesn’t seem to mind.

Make no mistake, this move doesn’t happen without Carrie and Paul’s blessing. Both are big enough stars to kill this action if they wanted to. But team sources say Carey and Paul are excited about their union, and that’s definitely because they came together in minds. No doubt, their rivalry has ebbed over the years as they both drifted towards their forties. But mutual respect and fraternal appreciation does not always mean working together.

But history will show that Curry is the ultimate magnet, a force of attraction that defies conventional wisdom and unwritten rules. Paul coming to the Warriors is further proof that Curry’s way of doing things tends to win. There is no greater sign of respect than a crazed competitor like Paul choosing to ride gun with a competitor he can’t beat.

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And there is no clearer message from the Warriors that they are all in Curry’s window. Nothing says quite like trading for a player 14 years older than his predecessor.

The Warriors wanted to get more experienced, to take on the youngsters who installed their locker room last year. They also see the move as an upgrade for their secondary ball handler and playmaker. Paul is an accomplished point guard who can run the team, especially when he is sitting out Curry. It’s the answer to the Warriors’ 3-point turnover issues and addiction. Paul can hit his spot in the midrange and punish mismatches.

Paul, at his best, was the perfect backup for Carrie, especially when Carrie ran out of time. The Warriors now risk becoming everything they ever wanted for another team. They may look at this and wish they could get a greater return on their investment in the guard they formed. But the Warriors benefited from Paul’s explosiveness and availability to pilot and drive Paul. They win over a potential future star for a former juggernaut, and in so doing are convinced they’ve become more solid. They also cut nearly $100 million from future salary, paving the way for avoiding further punitive damages for the new collective bargaining agreement. They addressed the issue of chemistry in the locker room, created by Draymond Green’s punch last October, and the unstable nature of Paul’s role – a rookie talent with a spare cap on the minutes.

The warriors added a famous leader, with a decidedly foul reputation but respected. And his decision to join the Warriors makes it clear that his only goal is to win. Curry needs a mentality he instilled in his team with a speech before Game 7 against Sacramento.

But the importance of this step is not only that the warriors have grown older and more experienced. They swapped Curry’s heir apparent for Curry’s former inspiration. Paul unquestionably helped propel Carey, sometimes quite literally, into the current stratosphere. Paul was the bar Carrie had to clear.

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Curry had just completed his freshman year as a junior at Charlotte Christian School when he was 80 miles away—in the era of high school mixed tapes on YouTube, remember—Paul was named to the 2003 McDonald’s All-American and Parade All-American teams. He was the pride of Winston Salem and the face of Ball North Carolina High School Basketball. Curry watched with ACC dreams in 2004 when Paul, as a freshman, dominated his first two NCAA Tournament games, including this streak against Manhattan: 29 points, 8 rebounds, 6 assists, 3 steals, 2 blocks and 1 turnover.

Paul was sitting in his case. Same in 2005 when he was selected #4 in the NBA draft by the New Orleans Hornets, becoming the highest drafted player from North Carolina since Jerry Stackhouse finished third in 1995.

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In 2009, Curry and his family spent time with the Paul family, which gave the NBA rookie some insight and good time. If you know anything about Carrie, you know those times matter in a major way.

In 2011, Curry was nearly traded for Paul.

Things turned around in 2014 when the two met in the playoffs. Paul was no longer a mentor to Carrie, but rather an obstacle. When the Clippers survived that series in Game 7, it was the last time Paul had control over Curry. For many, it was clear that Carey was coming.

cross over It symbolizes the changing of the guard.

Championship confirmed it.

The 2019 series in Houston ended all discussion.

The 2023 playoffs were Paul’s best chance to disprove. Winning a title with Phoenix wouldn’t change the outcome, but it would have been something. But the bigger worry about Paul also ended his chances.

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Injury is issue #1 with Paul. His hamstring knocked him out of the 2018 playoffs for Houston. His groin disqualified him from the 2023 playoffs for Phoenix. But one advantage of playing with and behind Carey is that Paul won’t play many minutes. He averaged 35.7 minutes in seven playoff games this year. But before this year’s injury, he played in 30 consecutive postseason games over three playoff appearances.

In the first round against the Clippers, Paul played 39, 38, 41, 38 and 38 minutes. He was hit in Game 2 of the following series. Steve Kerr’s caution, and Rick Ciprini’s character charm to keep Paul, giving him a better chance of surviving the postseason gauntlet. Carrie is insurance so he can reduce his workload and not lose ground.

So, Paul has jumped through the elevator. Perhaps this is a sign that the whole theme of the rivalry is not what it used to be, or perhaps it was never what it seemed. In the end, all of these players get older, wiser, and remember that they are all part of the brotherhood. That the controversies that fuel the internet are not as severe for the main characters as the public might think.

Proof that life is a circle. That bond brewed in North Carolina can withstand time, competition, and even misunderstandings. This is in the end all the former stars will have to find a safe place to land in their later years. Game legends deserve it.

Or that we are already in an alternate universe.

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(Photo: Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)