With his veteran leadership, Chris Paul has earned the respect and admiration of his teammates in Oklahoma City.
Paul has been pivotal in helping the Thunder exceed expectations this season, leading them to a 30-20 record good for seventh in the Western Conference. Paul’s efforts have translated into individual accolades as well, as he is an All-Star this season for the first time since the 2015-16 season.
According to The Athletic’s Erik Horne, Thunder players Steven Adams and Dennis Schroder praised Paul and spoke of how he’s deserving of being an All-Star.
“The new team dynamic, I think that affects the player a lot more than people realize,” Adams said, per Horne. “It’s a whole new world. You’re away from your family, all those little things. It’s good that people recognized him.”
Adams has anchored the Thunder’s rebounding efforts this season, leading the team with 9.3 rebounds per game. Adams is also fifth on the Thunder in scoring, averaging 10.8 points per game.
Schroder added how Paul has helped instill a winning culture. The Thunder being a relatively young team makes their season even more impressive; the Thunder have an average age of 24.8 years.
“He changed the culture here as well, how we play as a team,” Schroder said. “He did a lot for us so he deserves it.”
Paul has had one of the best seasons of his career in being the veteran voice for the Thunder.
What makes him valuable is how he’s one of the most pure floor generals of all time, knowing where his teammates should be on both ends of the floor. He leads the team in assists per game (6.6), and he is shooting 47.7% from the field.
The Thunder will play the Cleveland Cavaliers in Oklahoma City on Wednesday.