Chris Paul’s legacy is already set as one of the greatest pure point guards the league has seen. After being traded from the Houston Rockets to the Oklahoma City Thunder, most people probably thought that he would finish his career without ever winning a championship.
However, this year he has led the Phoenix Suns to the Western Conference Finals and is inarguably the best position he has ever been in to finally win a ring.
The Suns’ received concerning news recently, as Paul entered the NBA’s Covid-19 Health and Safety Protocols. It’s still unclear as to when Paul would return and how long he would be isolating.
However, he is vaccinated it seems, so there is a possibility his isolation period would be shorter than usual.
Now, assuming that Paul doesn’t miss too many games, a risky assumption to make, the Suns still have a great chance to win it all. A win that would bolster Chris Paul‘s legacy.
But how, does it bolster it? Here we are going to take a look at his legacy, his achievements and where ranks All-time with other point guards.
Chris Paul’s Legacy: One of the Best Point Guards of All Time
Chris Paul’s legacy is definitely cemented. This is without a championship.
He is called the “Point God” for a reason. There is not many point guards that can do what he can do in the NBA.
He has a strong argument for being the most skilled point guard of all time. The way he controls the pace of the game and his team’s offense is incredible.
He has a great handle of the ball, an amazing midrange game and is a great, smart defender.
He is averaging 18.3 points per game and 9.4 assists to go with it. Whilst he’s isn’t primarily a scorer, he can step up his scoring when required.
Just look at his most recent playoff series. Paul averaged 25.5 points, 10.3 assists, and only had 5 turnovers the whole series (four games). In addition to this, he shot 63% from the field.
Paul is great at getting to his spot and finding space for his elbow jumper. Whether that is using his great handles or using a screen well to make space.
He is one of the best midrange shooters in the league, arguably the best.
In the close out game against the Nuggets he hit eight straight midrange jumpers. An elite midrange game, a good three point shooter, a great free throw shooter and an elite playmaker.
Paul is an all around great player, skilled in every aspect of the game. Even at 36 years old he is playing at an this level putting on another great playoff run for the second year in a row.
Chris Paul’s Legacy: His Achievements
As we all know, injuries have limited how much Paul could have achieved throughout his career. Mainly when it comes to Championship.
However, his career has still been quite lustrous. He was selected with the fourth overall pick and went on to win the 2005-06 Rookie of the Year Award.
He is an 11x All-Star, and won the All-Star MVP award at the 2013 game.
He was led the league in assists four times and also led the league in steals six times.
Paul also has nine All-Defense team selections. It should also be noted that seven of those selections were for the first team.
Chris Paul’s legacy also includes his ten All-NBA team selections. Four of those selections being for the first team and five being the second team.
You could argue he deserved a first-team selection this year, after coming fifth in regular-season MVP and leading his team to the second seed.
That’s not all on his resume, he also has two gold medals. Paul took home gold medals at the 2008 Beijing Olympics and 2012 London Olympics.
He averages more assists per game than those names too, beside from Stockton.
Where Does He Rank on All-Time Point Guards with a Championship?
Paul is already high without a championship. The only thing that he has been missing that other guards high on the list have, is a ring.
If he were to get one, how does that change his ranking. Here is where I would put him, provided that he wins a championship.
- Averaged 19.5 points, 11.2 assists, 7.2 rebounds, 1.9 steals, 3.9 turnovers
- Led league in assists four times
- 3 Regular Season MVPs
- Led league in steals twice (1980-81, 1981-82)
- 5 NBA Championships
- 3 Final MVPs
- Averages 24.2 points, 5.8 assists, 5.5 rebounds, 1.7 steals, 3.4 turnovers
- Led league in scoring twice (2015-16, 2020-21)
- Led league in steals once (2015-16)
- 2 Regular Season MVPs (first and only unanimous MVP)
- 3 NBA Championships
3. Isiah Thomas
- Averaged 19.2 points, 3.5 rebounds, 9.3 assists, 1.9 steals, 3.8 turnovers
- Led league in assists once
- 2 NBA Championships
- 1 Finals MVP
4. Chris Paul
- Averages 18.3 points, 8.9 assists, 4.5 rebounds, 2.1 steals, 2.4 turnovers
- Led league in assists four times
- Led league in steals six times
- Averaged 25.7 points, 7.5 rebounds, 9.5 assists
- Led league in assists six times
- 1 regular season MVP
- 1 NBA Championship
It’s difficult and controversial to put him above Oscar Robertson, and I don’t think you can do that if he doesn’t win a championship. However, a lot of that comes from the difference in today’s game.
Chris Paul’s legacy should be strengthened by the fact he is playing in today’s era, an era that has the most talent. The fact that he still taking complete control of games, at 36 years old, in today’s game is very impressive.
Isiah Thomas won his championships in also a very difficult era, and even beat the great Michael Jordan, Larry Bird and Magic Johnson in playoffs.
Without only onw championship you can’t put Chris Paul above Thomas, especially because of the nature of the difficulty of Thomas’ rings.
For me, Chris Paul’s legacy is the way he plays the game. The IQ and skill he posses should allow him to be compared to these players with great playoffs run.
Whether or not he comes away from this season with a championship, he is still one of the greatest minds and point guards to play the game.
A ring makes everyone’s legacy better, but in the case of Chris Paul, the guards ahead of him have achieved too much for a single ring to overtake them.
Nevertheless, Chris Paul’s legacy is incredible.