One doesn’t have to be a basketball connoisseur to know that Chris Paul is a future NBA Hall of Famer.
Paul is one of the most dominant and complete pure point guards of all time, and not even his lack of playoff success will be enough to stain his near-perfect résumé.
But as great as he is, Stephen A. Smith believes his team will be better off without him in Thursday night’s must-win Game 6 versus the Denver Nuggets.
.@stephenasmith says the Suns are BETTER OFF without Chris Paul 👀
"We want to make sure that the world recognizes one of the greatest point guards in the history of the game. … That's no shade on him, if anything it's shade on a great, great coach … in Monty Williams." pic.twitter.com/ULnYjs7WMM
— First Take (@FirstTake) May 11, 2023
Smith explained that it wasn’t a knock on Paul, who he showered with praise throughout the segment.
If anything, Paul’s determination to compete and do whatever it takes to win could wind up hurting his team, as he could be quite limited and not able to do what he usually does on the basketball court.
Of course, that makes perfect sense on paper, but it might not be the case in reality.
Most teams and coaches would take Paul at 60% over any other point guard at 100% any day of the week, especially with the season on the line, regardless of his age.
Paul is the true definition of a floor general, and the Suns have struggled to get into their sets without him on the court.
Landry Shamet and Cameron Payne have a different profile, and — all due respect — none of them can do what Paul does on a nightly basis.
There’s no tomorrow for the Suns, and Paul’s legacy would be more affected by not suiting up than by playing and losing.NEXT: Stat Shows How Dominant Kevin Durant Is When Facing Elimination