36-year old Chris Paul talks about how the late Kobe Bryant motivated him in the 2021 NBA Playoffs.
CP3 is the closest in years he has been to winning an NBA championship. The former rookie of the year has had a decorated 16-year career that includes many accolades under his hat.
Over the years, Paul has evolved to be one of the greatest leaders the league has ever seen. His game has transitioned with time.
During the off-season of the 2020-21 NBA season, CP3 was traded to the Phoenix Suns. The 11x NBA All-Star has changed the fortunes of the franchise since his arrival.
The 4x assists leader in his first season with the Suns has averaged 16.4 PPG, 8.9 APG, and 4.5 RPG on a 49.9% shooting from the field, 39.5% from the 3-point line, and an incredible 93.4% from the free-throw line.
It won’t be wrong to say that the 36-year old is still at the prime of his career, especially after seeing his performances in the 2021 NBA Playoffs.
Chris Paul talks about the importance of Lakers legend Kobe Bryant in his career
Paul has been performing exceptionally well despite struggling with injuries. During Game One of the first round in the playoffs, Cp3 sustained a shoulder injury, which was diagnosed as a contusion later.
The Phoenix star had to leave the game during the second quarter to get treatment in the locker room but would, however, return only a few minutes after that giving the Suns fans a sigh of relief.
Cp3 later spoke about the video his trainer had sent to him, about Bryant’s willingness to play through injuries.
” I listened to it before the game and hearing Kob just talking about the work ethic that you put in and stuff like that, and in the thing, Kobe says like, ‘Injuries, sometimes you just can’t control them.’ So, that was all that was going through my mind after the play I got hit. Once I got here to the back and they checked me out and knew if there was any way I could play, I was going to.”
Kobe Bryant in the 20-seasons he played for the NBA, had some catastrophic injuries that included an Achilles and knee fracture as well. However, Bryant’s assassin mentality would always help him come out stronger from his injuries.
The Black Mamba’s work ethic is one of a kind, right from putting hours into the gym to practicing 700-100 shots, the mamba mentality is still embodied by many players in the league that include the likes of Devin Booker, Kyrie Irving, and Jason Tatum.
Chris Paul was asked about his athletic ability at the age of 36 and he referenced something Kobe Bryant once said that you’ve gotta fall in love with the repetition of work it takes year-round to maintain that.
— Kellan Olson (@KellanOlson) July 7, 2021
Also read: “LeBron James, Bill Russell and Magic Johnson did play in the NBA”: Shannon Sharpe points out how Devin Booker was being a prisoner of the moment in calling Chris Paul the greatest leader ever
Paul shared a very close relationship with the late legend and was at one point going to join him in the Lakers. However, that trade was vetoed by then-commissioner David Stern.