Dissecting the Chris Paul Narrative


The recent resurgence of Chris Paul and the Suns have brought up the idea that “everywhere Chris goes, winning follows.”

Dissecting the Chris Paul Narrative

The recent resurgence of Chris Paul and the Suns have brought up the idea that “everywhere Chris goes, winning follows.” I’m here to tell you that the CP3 obsession is unwarranted and he is overrated. Let’s go through his career, chronologically, to explain this.

New Orleans Hornets

Drafted 4th overall, Chris Paul was with New Orleans for 7 seasons in which he won plenty of awards/accolades on his way to stardom. These include Rookie of the Year and all-star selections. Most importantly for recent history is the forging of his relationship with coach Monty Williams, arguably why Paul ended up with the Suns. His time in NOLA was the beginning of his injury history as well as the first of many playoff shortcomings. From torn knee cartilage to a concussion, the so-called “super-star” never made it past the second round. These shortcomings (and injuries) are important, as they became a trend. This is the first of many times I will note that in none of these seasons was CP3’s team an actual title contender, healthy or not.

Lakers Trade

CP3 was famously traded to the Lakers, and the trade was vetoed by the League and David Stern. Laker fans still whine about this. As a Laker fan myself, I’m here to tell you that this was a blessing in disguise. Kobe Bryant sits at three rings today if this trade went through. Why ? Because CP3 isn’t actually a winner. At the time, no one knew that he wasn’t a winner, so I understand being upset in the moment. But to still be upset about it ? Come on, Laker Nation!


In December of 2011, the Clippers traded for Chris Paul, and “lob city” was born. The high flying duo of Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan made highlight reels everywhere. Only, there was one glaring problem: They never got to the conference finals. Why? Because Griffin and Jordan were glorified volleyball players, and CP3 is, well, CP3. A true superstar would have found a way to carry this team further. Alas, that isn’t in CP3’s DNA and I wish we would stop treating him like he is or was ever that player.


Chris Paul joined the Rockets in a big trade to help Darryl Morey’s Rockets get past the Golden State Warriors dynasty. News flash: Only one team was able to, the 2016 Cleveland Cavaliers were the only team to do so, and that’s simply because they were anchored by the greatest to ever play. “But the Rockets were up on the Warriors before CP3 got hurt.” Yes, that’s true, but we’ll never know what would’ve happened. I can promise you that the Warriors were never nervous during that series, and that the Rockets never had a chance, in any of the Warrior’s dynasty years, to beat Golden State. Hell, they were so desperate, they downgraded from CP3 to Westbrook, which is a topic for a different day and different post.

Oklahoma City Thunder

CP3 dragged a rebuilding Thunder to the playoffs, where they had no real title aspirations or chances. Good for him, I suppose. At least he didn’t get named league MVP and fizzle out in the first round with the Thunder…


After the Suns went 8–0 in the bubble and failed to make the playoffs, they added CP3 and had a fantastic regular season in 2020–2021. This is unsurprising given how they finished the previous season, the maturity of Devin Booker, and the leadership addition of Paul. In a season in which 3 of the 4 true title contenders suffered major injuries (Clippers, Lakers, Nets), the Suns strolled to the finals and took a 2–0 lead over the Bucks. Then they lost four in a row and CP3 remains title-less. This is the closest he will ever be to a ring, as he won’t ever have a teammate as good as Booker and the injury luck amongst the other teams. Hee was finally not the best player on his team (Houston aside) and this was his ceiling. All of this is undeserving of praise, superstardom status, and the contract he will get as a result.

He’s a difference maker, but not a true winner.


Chris Paul will be discussed endlessly among Charles Barkley, Patrick Ewing, and Steve Nash: One of the best to never win a ring. Good for him, that’s a true accomplishment in life. But he isn’t a superstar, nor was he ever a super star. He shouldn’t have been paid like one, praised like one, and he certainly never had a real chance to win a title. Sure, he’s a great leader. But he’s overrated and always falls apart in the postseason (you know, when it actually matters). I hope we can stop the narrative that “winning follows wherever Chris Paul goes.” Or at least admit that the regular season doesn’t really matter, and CP3 always comes up short when it matters most.