Last night a future Hall-of-Famer who had been featured in starting lineups his whole career came off the bench and made a huge impact for the Golden State Warriors in a close game. Let me know if you’ve heard this before.
Chris Paul played as a reserve for the first time in his career, helping the Dubs knock off the Rockets in a fun contest. In 27 minutes CP3 had 8 points, 5 rebounds, and 7 assists.
Keep in mind that when he was first traded to the Warriors, this next clip of him responding comedically to the question of him coming off the bench felt a potential red flag to suspicious Dub Nation members who had watched Paul antagonize Golden State for several years.
I love that people spent months worrying if CP3 would be willing to come off the bench, then he did it the second the Warriors needed it without any problem whatsoever.— Warriors Huddle (@WarriorsHuddle) October 30, 2023
But Paul has been more than professional; he’s been a catalyst for stability and creativity on a Warriors team that is playing for each other with zeal to start this season. That’s a welcome breath of fresh air after a team dynamic last year where Stephen Curry had to tell players not to get on the bus if they didn’t want to play the right way.
That’s the ethos that Iguodala, former Finals MVP for the Warriors, embodied as a key contributor to four championships. Freshly retired, there’s a whole side to his career being a star player on a playoff team and Olympic Gold medalist who joined the Splash Bros and found title glory as an elite glue guy.
There’s not a lotta guys who could go from doing this...
...to backing up Harrison Barnes, a less heralded player compared to Iguodala’s resume.
That’s when when Coach Steve Kerr, the man responsible for convincing Iguodala to come off the bench for Golden State’s first championship run, spoke about Paul accepting the same idea, it spoke volumes:
Steve Kerr says Chris Paul accepting role off the bench is “massive” and compares to Andre Iguodala in 2014:— Shayna Rubin (@ShaynaRubin) October 30, 2023
“When I talked to him this morning about it, he just nodded his head and said, Let's go get ‘em. Like, not even a big deal.”
Even in Iguodala’s absence, the impact of his legacy lives on in the Golden Empire.