For the first time in his career, Chris Paul will suit up as a Warrior this upcoming NBA season and will be coached by one of the best in five-time champion Steve Kerr.
Kerr and Paul met up for the first time since the trade during Summer League in Las Vegas and Kerr had an important message for the 18-season veteran right off the bat.
“I watched Steph [Curry] and Chris work out together,” Kerr said on NBA Today. “We’ve talked about our team. One of the things I told Chris was, we have to be more controlled this year. Last year, we were number 29 in the league in turnovers, in other words, second worst in the league, but we had the fastest pace in the league. That’s not a great combination. And one of the things I love about Chris is that he controls games. And, so I told him we need his ability to control the game at key times for us and he knows he’s going to adapt to some of the stuff we do. Especially when he’s playing with Steph, throwing the ball ahead, playing with a little more pace.”
Draymond Green has been heavily relied upon as the Warriors facilitator in the past but it needed a shake-up after the shortcomings of last season.
So along with taking pressure off Curry, Kerr thinks that Paul will also be able to be coordinate for Steph and Klay.
“So I kind of like the idea of finding a better balance this year and being more under control, but still being, you know, really lethal offensively,” Kerr said. “And then of course, you know what Chris does in pick and roll and his midrange game, he always gives you a chance in every possession to get a good shot. And he’s, you know, one of the great point guards of all time. So we’re lucky to have him.”
No doubt Kerr and Paul have had a very different relationship over the years to what they have now.
The Dubs and Paul were fierce rivals, especially during Paul’s Rockets era where Paul recalls the franchise played the entire season to get ready for one team – the Warriors of course.
But before then, CP3’s Clippers team beat the Warriors 4-3 in the first round of the 2014 Western Conference Finals.
“You know, one of the funny things about this league is that you compete against people and especially if you see someone in the playoffs, over and over again like we did with Chris in Houston,” Kerr said. “And then all of a sudden you’re teammates or you’re coaching someone and you laugh at moments like this where, you know, you’re at each other’s throats for much of your career.
“It reminded me a little bit of when I played. Reggie Miller and I played against each other in college and then the pros as well. I used to hate Reggie. And then we became broadcast partners and became great friends.
“I feel like that’s kind of how it’s going to be with Chris. We’ve all hated him, you know, because we were competing and he was so good. And now that’s our guy and we love him.”
Only will time will tell how beneficial CP3 will be in the Bay this upcoming NBA season.