PHOENIX (AP) – Chris Paul says he knows the secret for why he’s still a dominant NBAat an age when most of his peers are getting into coaching or figuring out their next steps in life.
I told the guys in the locker room I’ve got the easy job,” Paul said, grinning. “I just pass it to them.
The 35-year-old Paul continued adding to thenight, passing 10,000 assists in the Phoenix Suns’ 111-94 victory over the Los Angeles Lakers.
The 11-time All-Star spectacularly hit 10,000, throwing a perfect alley-oop pass to Deandre Ayton, who was streaking down the lane and finished with a powerful two-handed jam. Paul finished with a triple-double on Sunday, contributing 11 points, 13 assists, and ten rebounds.
Paul is just the sixthhistory to reach the 10,000-assist milestone, and John Stockton, Jason Kidd, Steve Nash, Mark Jackson, and Magic Johnson. Paul will pass Johnson this and might catch Jackson and Nash at his current rate.
“I just enjoy watching him get these achievements along the way,” Suns coach Monty Williams said. “It’s amazing. No one could see this on the horizon when he was in college at. It , sacrifice, an unreal family he comes from, and a dedication to the game.”
Williams and Paul have a unique relationship, operating almost as equals instead of the usual coach-player dynamic. The two have known each other for years, and Williams was Paul‘s coach in New Orleans a decade ago. They’re reunited, and Williams is proud to call Paul a friend.
“Chris is somebody I’ll ask for advice,” Williams said. “He’s somebody I can tell the truth to, and he can tell me the truth. You’d have to ask him, but I value our relationship now because we’re both older.”
Later Williams added: “When we’re done with this, I’m going to be checking up on his kids when they’re getting 10,000 assists in the league. I think it’s cool to have players you’re close to, but you can also coach and push. Paul‘s longevity in the company is something that Phoenix’s Devin Booker has watched closely. Now, teammates, the 24-year-old said it’d been a privilege to get an up-close look at Paul‘s relentless caring for his body.
“All the nicknames he gets, he fully deserves,” Booker said. “’ The Point God,’ everything. … You see no slippage.”
Paul‘s in his 16th, but he’s still playing at an elite level. He made his 11th All-Star team earlier this , averaging about 16 points and nine assists per game. Now he’s on a Phoenix team with a 28-13 record and looks ready to jump into the . His buddies from his , but Paul still enjoys his “easy job” of dishing perfect passes.
“I ain’t done,” Paul said. “I’m going to keep hoopin’.”
Follow David Brandt at www.twitter.com/davidbrandtAP.
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