For starters, Chris Paul is a guy who has never come off the bench.
During his first press conference as a Golden State Warriors player, Chris Paul expressed his disbelief at the reality of joining forces with Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson, having previously faced them in intense playoff battles.
The unexpected trade saw the Warriors exchange Jordan Poole for Paul, with hopes that his passing and court vision would bring consistent points to the team.
Despite the logical assumption that Paul would come off the bench, given Curry’s starting position and the Warriors’ need for size in the backcourt, Paul seemingly did not appreciate this notion during his interviews.
There’s been no discussion between Chris Paul and Steve Kerr about Paul coming off the bench. “It’ll be a conversation when camp starts. Me and Steve have talked, but that ain’t something where it’s, ‘What up, man? You starting or coming off the bench.” pic.twitter.com/JYSO9hcHqE
— Anthony Slater (@anthonyVslater) July 10, 2023
While not as dismissive as Carmelo Anthony’s reaction to coming off the bench with the Oklahoma City Thunder, it raises the concern that Paul, like his Banana Boat Buddy, struggles with accepting a lesser role as his skills and body decline.
It is particularly challenging for superstars and future Hall of Famers to come to terms with this reality. However, Paul is aware that this is his last opportunity to win a championship and is expected to accept the bench role with a positive attitude. Failing to do so may lead to this being seen as his Icarus moment, similar to Melo’s experience.