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How Chris Paul’s Clippers inspired Stephen Curry’s Warriors

Lob City made the biggest mistake ever when they eliminated the Warriors to kickstart Golden State’s impending dynasty. THANKS CP3!

Los Angeles Clippers v Golden State Warriors Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

Chris Paul is a Golden State Warrior. CRAZY! As an 18 year veteran, highly decorated with All-NBA and All-Star teams and some Olympic Gold to boot, CP3 is absolutely one of the greatest hoopers to touch an NBA court. His IQ is legendary as well as his notorious ability to annoy Dub Nation.

My my my, how Warriors fans have loathed CP3 over the years, a true arch nemesis to the franchise. Paul even acknowledged that resentment in a recent TMZ sports interview:

For those who never knew or need a refresher for how bizarre it is that the Dubs added CP3 from a crazed fanatic’s POV, let’s start with those Los Angeles Clippers teams Paul led during the early/mid 2010’s. Remember when Lob City was a PROBLEM for the Dubs? Let’s not forget that until LeBron James’ Lakers defeated the Dubs in this year’s playoffs, the Warriors hadn’t been eliminated in the Western Conference since 2014 when Paul’s team did it.

Here’s how GSW outlasted that iteration of CP3’s greatness.

The Curry vs Paul rivalry kicks off

Warriors fans have probably known Mr. Paul to be an ornery, future hall-of-fame point guard, with an alleged “little man complex”. And back when Steph Curry entered the league as a skinny, young hopeful, Paul was the standard bearer for the position. His nickname is “CP3,” but in certain circles it was literally “point god”.

He’s also the reason Curry became an unguardable, cold-blooded, NBA assassin.

Legendary Warriors reporter extraordinare Marcus Thompson once wrote:

Curry got to this level in part because of his rivalry with Paul. Over the years, no opponent has been more of a motivator for Curry than Paul. No point guard has pushed Curry to improve his game as Paul has.

It was the standard set by CP3, the clashes they shared through the developing of the Warriors-Clippers rivalry, that fueled Curry in the crafting of his transcendent game.

“It sure was,” Curry said. ‘Still does.”

It was Paul who best exposed the weaknesses in Curry’s game — that physicality could knock Curry off course, that pressure could hurry him into mistakes, that taking away his 3-point shooting neutered his game.

In the first round of the 2013-2014 playoffs, Paul had his last true triumph over Curry. CP3 led the Los Angeles Clippers to victory in an emotionally volatile seven game series over an upstart Warriors team led by the Bay’s baby-faced prodigy, Curry.

An enduring moment from that series was Curry airballing a game-winning shot in the waning seconds from Game 3 as Paul clawed at his arms like Wolverine.

This devastating series loss effectively (and prematurely, depending on who you asked at the time) terminated the tenure of Curry’s beloved head coach, Pastor Mark Jackson.

Thompson continued to explain in his article that Curry hit the weight room and developed next level ball-handling in order to deal with the “handsy,” punishing, physical harassment from CP3.

From the next season on, it would become clear that Curry would be bullied no longer by the aging Olympian.

Under new head coach Steve Kerr, Curry is now famous for targeting Paul for a series of soul-snatching highlights and scoring binges that ripped the mantle of “best point guard alive” from CP3’s clutches.

Meanwhile, Paul’s Clippers were never heard from again, except as the occasional punching bag for the Dubs. Curry’s rise to superstardom, Unanimous MVPs, and championships had left Paul behind as a great player of a bygone era.

Even Sports Illustrated couldn’t help but pour more salt on Chef Curry cooking Paul: they penned an article entitled, “Stephen Curry has a long history of duping Chris Paul”.

It seemed as though the “Unanimous”/CP3 rivalry had quickly burnt out in the wake of Curry’s stratospheric ascendance to pantheon level greatness...

But then there’s the Houston chapter, NEXT!


Do you like Chris Paul as a Warrior?

This poll is closed

  • 71%
    Absolutely, it’s always great to have a living legend on your team!
    (397 votes)
  • 28%
    Uhhhh nah we didn’t need this guy, and especially not in exchange for the potential of Jordan Poole!
    (156 votes)
553 votes total Vote Now

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