Former NBA referee shreds Warriors ‘image cultivator’ Chris Paul

Chris Paul has been in the NBA for 19 seasons. He’s been an All-Star 12 times. And he’s widely viewed as one of the best point guards to ever grace the hardwood. That’s why the Golden State Warriors acquired him during the summer, as they searched for ways to give their second unit a boost and improve the playmaking within their roster.

When you’ve been in the league as long as Paul, you’re going to upset some folk. Not everybody will like you, especially when you’re an elite competitor at the top of their game. Oftentimes, greatness comes with an edge that can be offputting to those around you. Perhaps that’s why former NBA referee Bill Spooner recently told Jason Quick of The Athletic that Paul was one of the worst players he encountered during his tenure in the NBA.

“I’m going to tell you, and I know you are recording me, but I get asked all the time: ‘Who are some of the tough guys, some of the bad guys?’ And when I tell them that Chris Paul, in my 32 years in the league, was one of the biggest a–holes I ever dealt with, they say, ‘Not Rasheed Wallace … or da-da-da?’ Nope. Nothing like (Paul),” Spooner said. “…And they are like, ‘Oh, he seems like such a nice guy.’ And I say, ‘Yeah, he’s a great image cultivator.'”

During his tenure with Golden State, Paul has received praise for his professionalism and the work he’s done with the team’s younger stars. He has been a veteran voice on a roster that is trending younger and younger each season.

Despite his incredible skill, Paul has never won a championship. That drought didn’t change this season, as the Warriors were eliminated from the play-in tournament at the first hurdle. Paul could leave Golden State this summer. He has one year remaining on his deal worth $30 million.

However, the final year of that contract is non-guaranteed. As such, Paul may be looking for a new home where he can potentially make another run at finally winning a ring, and you don’t need to be a nice guy for that to happen.


Story originally appeared on Warriors Wire