At 37-years-old, Chris Paul doesn't have much time left as an elite guard in the NBA. By all accounts, his window to win a championship closes with every series loss. This time, even after finishing with the league's best record, his team couldn't answer the call and got eliminated by an inexperienced and inferior opponent.
With countless questions swirling about Paul's future in the league, the star veteran set the record straight on his plans and confirmed he'll return for a re-do with the Suns:
"They said that last year. They probably said it back in '08. Every time you lose, they're gonna say it's your best chance... but we'll be back next year. I ain't retiring tomorrow, thank God."
Nobody questions what Paul brings to the table as a ball-handler, playmaker, and leader. He's one of the best in the business at those aspects of the game and he has proven that time and time again.
But with another playoff loss in the books, one has to wonder why Paul's teams have a tendency to underachieve.
This season, despite everything, it happened again, and nobody can really explain why. The team was locked-in, and Paul has even instituted curfews for the entire squad:
Brian Windhorst noted that the edict came directly from CP3 and not the coaching staff, and it called for players to be back at the hotel by a certain time.
While Windhorst is unsure what time the curfew was set for, Paul reportedly had hotel rooms set up for him and his teammates to watch other NBA playoff games and play cards.
The team apparently responded well to the curfew, as the Suns won the series 4-2 after splitting the first two games at home. Phoenix closed out New Orleans with a 115-109 win Thursday night.
As any player will tell you, it's hard to come back from a blow like that. It kills confidence, destroys trust, and puts pressure on front offices to make moves they wouldn't normally make.
This is an uncertain time for the Suns, but there is no mistaking that CP3 is coming back for at least one more try. He's got more left to give, and it seems he won't stop until his goal of capturing a title is met.