The NBA season is officially over and new champion is crowned.
Their loss was not a failure as this was their first trip to the NBA Finals since 1993.
However, it does hurt to lose after being up two games to zero.
It especially hurts for Paul.
This is Paul’s 16th season in the league, but his first ever time in the Finals.
Paul is 36 years old and his career is coming to an end very soon.
That end is not now, as Paul made it clear that he is coming back for another season.
“Get back to work…I ain’t retiring.”
– Chris Paul
— Hoop Central (@TheHoopCentral) July 21, 2021
We do not know if he can make it back here.
Forget about the future what if’s and look at what he did this season.
What would be the grade given to Paul for his first season with the Suns?
He Tried His Best In The Finals
Paul made it to his first ever Finals in weird circumstances.
Each opponent leading up to the Finals for the Suns saw them missing a star player.
The Los Angeles Lakers were missing Anthony Davis for a couple of games.
Then the second round came, where the Denver Nuggets were missing Jamal Murray.
Lastly, there were the Los Angeles Clippers, who were without their superstar player, Kawhi Leonard.
However, that was not the Suns’ fault.
They faced the team in front of them and delivered.
Then the Finals came and they started the series up 2-0.
Yes, they ultimately lost, but Paul tried his best.
The turnovers were troublesome.
There were also moments where he just seemed disengaged, or hurt.
He is 36 years old and the grind to get to this point has to be taking a toll on Paul.
His numbers were still good for someone who is being criticized so heavily.
Chris Paul in his 1st Finals:
36 Years Old
This may have been Chris Paul’s Last Straw. pic.twitter.com/c4RG5iolFk
— Tree 🚀🎡 (@ImTreeFrl) July 21, 2021
This was his first Finals and he tried his best to bring his team to glory.
Yes, he did not get the job done, but he left it all out there.
Paul Was The Catalyst For Their Turnaround
The Suns had not been to playoffs since 2010 before this year.
We saw them get very close in the bubble last season; going undefeated.
However, that did not lead to a playoff berth.
Adding Paul made them go from a hopeful playoff team to one of the best teams in the league.
He was the lighter for this team to become a force.
After going 19-63 in 2019, the 2020 Suns went undefeated in the bubble but still missed the playoffs
• traded for Chris Paul
• finished 52-21
• eliminated the Lakers
• swept the Nuggets
• defeated the Clippers
What a run for the Phoenix Suns 👏🏽👏🏽👏🏽 pic.twitter.com/XS0bAclJJd
— SB Nation (@SBNation) July 21, 2021
They were two games away from being champions.
That stings, but it proved that the Suns belonged.
Paul showed that he belongs and that he is a great leader.
This team was not looked at as a Finals team at all.
Paul came in and flipped that switch.
The Suns needed someone like Paul.
This first season with Paul commanding the point guard spot was a massive success.
The Suns franchise is not known for success.
In their long history, they have never won a title.
This was one of their closest chances.
The reason for that was the addition of Paul.