Phoenix Suns point guard Chris Paul is just one win away from making the NBA Finals for the first time in his career.
Paul and the Suns are looking to knock off his former team, the Los Angeles Clippers, in the Western Conference Finals.
During his time with the Clippers, Paul and the team had continued regular season success, but it never translated to an NBA title.
Former Clippers guard Caron Butler explained how the “many egos” on that Clippers team led to it never making it far enough in the postseason.
“While Suns players wax poetic about Paul’s influence, his former teammates can attest that his approach doesn’t always jive with players who aren’t willing to follow Paul’s directives,” The Ringer’s Paola Uggetti wrote. “Butler remembers that some Clippers players didn’t always agree with Paul’s level of perfectionism, and it caused the team to suffer. There were too many voices in one room, and not a single coherent message to drive them.”
Unlike his time with the Clippers, this year’s Suns team has completely bought into what Paul is preaching.
“That team wasn’t aligned at the same time,” Butler said. “We needed more management of personalities. Chris was always really serious about winning and really particular in the details, and I think that because he was so invested, other guys was rubbed the wrong way. … You had so many egos and personalities that needed to be managed, and I think then, there would have been no limits for that team.”
Paul’s teams with the Clippers included stars like Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan, yet the Clippers never made the Western Conference Finals during that time.
Now, with Game 5 set to go on Monday night, Paul has a chance to take down his former team and get one step closer to that elusive NBA title.