Chris Paul Addresses Thunder Trade Rumors, Reveals Thoughts on OKC Fans

GETTY Chris Paul #3 of the Oklahoma City Thunder looks on during an opening night game against the Oklahoma City Thunder at Vivint Smart Home Arena on October 23, 2019 in Salt Lake City, Utah. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.

Oklahoma City Thunder point guard, Chris Paul is the apple of many NBA team’s eyes.

The New York Knicks, Philadelphia 76ers, Denver Nuggets, Phoenix Suns, New Orleans Pelicans, Utah Jazz, Dallas Mavericks and the Milwaukee Bucks are believed to have some interest in the Wake Forest product.

You’d think it would phase him, right?

“I just love to hoop,” Paul told Mike Breen, Jeff Van Gundy and Mark Jackson in an interview on ESPN during Game 3 of the NBA Finals between the Los Angeles Lakers and Miami Heat.

“Billy Donovan was amazing. My teammates have been amazing. So, for me, you call it twilight years, I call it a blessing. Just being able to compete at a high level at 35 years old, [I’m going to] just keep rolling.”

Paul, 35, flat out dominated this season. He averaged 17.6 points, 5 rebounds, 6.7 assists, and 1.6 steals in the regular season for the Thunder. With a supporting cast that included Steven Adams, Lu Dort, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Dennis Schroeder, Danilo Gallinari and Nerlens Noel, Chris Paul helped guide the Thunder to a 44-28 record and fifth place finish in the NBA’s Western Conference standings.

A fourteen-year NBA vet and a ten-time NBA All-Star in stints with the New Orleans Hornets, Los Angeles Clippers and Houston Rockets, he’s due $85 Million over the next two years.

Also the President of the National Basketball Player’s Association, Paul was instrumental in the NBA’s restart at the NBA bubble in Orlano, Florida. “First and foremost, it’s amazing how everything came together,” he said.

“Obviously, I’d rather still be there playing. It is what it is. It’s remarkable, all the different types of stuff guys have done to make everything happen. That’s why I’m honored and privileged to be a part of this great league.”

GettyLeBron James of the Los Angeles Lakers controls the ball against Chris Paul of the Oklahoma City Thunder.

The Thunder parted ways with head coach, Billy Donovan who is now the head coach of the Chicago Bulls. OKC is on the hunt for a new head coach and names that have emerge include former Brooklyn Nets head coach Kenny Atkinson, Denver Nuggets top assistant, Wes Unseld Jr. and Minnesota Timberwolves lead assistant coach David Vanterpool. In the meantime, it is believed that the 2020-21 NBA season will begin in the early portion of 2021, Chris Paul assured the ESPN crew that fans are still the main focus and that lack of them in the NBA bubble was a struggle. “Fans were definitely missed,” he said.

“It was the energy. Especially with me, playing for the Thunder. Playing in OKC, it’s different, the way that, when you make a shot, you feed off the crowd. But I think the virtual crowd has been amazing. Players being able to walk off the court and see their loved ones and families there, it means a lot.”

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