Chris Paul: ‘People didn’t even know it was in my mind, to go to Phoenix’
Chris Paul explained on the No Chill with Gilbert Arenas show that he chose to play for the Phoenix Suns because of the established pieces in place that had room to grow.
Paul mentioned the foundation Phoenix had with head coach Monty Williams, assistant Willie Green and Devin Booker.
The point guard played under Williams during his final year with New Orleans in 2010-11 before joining the Suns in November 2020 after the bubble run.
“I know his mindset, so I know he prepares,” Paul said. “You want to know when you’re in the last one to two minutes of a game that coach can give you X’s and O’s. Not only X’s and O’s but that he has your team disciplined enough.
“Devin is there, and he nice. I already know he a dog. I know the energy he is on because I already worked out with him. Willie there, that’s my man. So off the court if I am going to be by myself, I know him, he’ll help me keep my mental. I was like, ‘this could work.'”
Paul said that one of the bigger aspects of choosing the Suns was the building process.
The Suns finished 34-39 in the COVID-19 shortened year before Paul arrived, so the move came as somewhat of a surprise.
“People didn’t even know it was in my mind, to go to Phoenix,” Paul said.
Paul is known as one of the best leaders around the league, so the opportunity to play alongside and help grow a player like Deandre Ayton appealed to him.
“It ain’t always pretty. Me and Deandre Ayton were getting into like hell at the start of the season. Cause I’m on hard on him, and I ain’t no loser,” Paul said.
Paul’s influence on Ayton worked out as the third-year center had his most influential year with the team, including a dominant NBA Finals playoff run.
Paul then signed a four-year deal worth up to $120 million in the offseason to remain in Phoenix.