On Monday, Oct. 30, Chris Paul came off the bench for the first time in his career. The veteran guard was moved to the Golden State Warriors second unit following the return of Draymond Green, who had missed the opening games of the season due to an ankle injury.
Paul ended the contest with 8 points, 7 assists, and 5 rebounds. During his post-game press conference, the future Hall of Famer discussed how he altered his approach and why he’s willing to undertake a role in the Warriors’ second unit. Paul also noted how he understands that change is inevitable at this late stage in his career.
“It was different,” Paul said. “Klay told me 1366 straight games, something like that. It’s definitely different. But, at the end of the day, it’s basketball. The warm-up is different. A lot of it was. But once you get out there and play the game, it’s hoopin’…It’s whatever I gotta do to help our team win. If that means that, or not finishing some games or whatnot. If you get a chance to play long enough in this career, there are things that’s gonna change. Things that are going to be different. And I’m here.”
Throughout the opening games of the season, Paul has comprised a small-ball lineup alongside Steph Curry and Klay Thompson. However, with Green back in the rotation, we may see the veteran ball-handler become a staple of the second unit.
CP3 thought coming off the bench for the first time was "different," but was happy to give the Warriors what they needed 🤝 pic.twitter.com/NcF6qd7oby
— Warriors on NBCS (@NBCSWarriors) October 30, 2023
Golden State has needed a backup guard in recent years. If Paul continues to come off the bench, he will give the Warriors a unique opportunity to have one of the best playmakers in the league setting up their younger talents. Paul made a solid impression in his first game as a sixth man. Now, Steve Kerr will need to decide if he will continue running with that rotation.