Chris Paul, esteemed veteran point guard, has enjoyed a remarkable 18-season run in the NBA. With an impressive 1,214 regular-season and 149 playoff games under his belt, he is now donning a new jersey, embracing a fresh challenge with the Golden State Warriors.
However, as he steps onto a court graced by long-standing Warriors, the question of whether he will retain his starting position looms.
Training Camp: The Proving Grounds
As the ball drops on the training camp in October, all eyes will be on Paul and his new coach, Steve Kerr.
While Paul's unblemished record of starting games is noted, Kerr insists that the process of deciding starters will unfold throughout the training period. "We'll just look at all kinds of different combinations," Kerr said in an interview with ESPN after Team USA's training session.
"We know all those guys are going to play a lot of minutes. But the luxury of having Chris Paul to add to this group that we've been lucky enough to have for a decade... pretty remarkable." Kerr’s remarks underscore Paul's standing as one of the game's great competitors, along with his exceptional ability to control games and dictate tempo.
Even amid speculation, Paul remains unfazed by the uncertainty of his role.
A Team Player in New Colours
When queried last month about the possibility of coming off the bench, Paul dismissed the issue. "At the end of the day, it's basketball," he commented, revealing he hadn't yet spoken to Kerr about his specific role. "I'm going into a situation with a bunch of guys who've been playing together for a long time.
I'm not as worried about it as everybody else is... We'll figure all of that stuff out at camp." Paul, a savvy playmaker known for his intelligence on and off the court, is also likely to be instrumental in improving the team's turnover numbers.
"We had a lot of turnovers last year," Kerr confessed. "And the great thing with Chris, he's so smart that he'll figure it out. Whether he's playing with Steph or without Steph." With his unique blend of experience and basketball IQ, Paul joins an already talented, smart group of players that include the likes of Steph Curry, Draymond Green, Klay Thompson, and Andre Iguodala. As Kerr points out, when you put a bunch of talented, smart players together, good things are bound to happen.