Paul helped turn the Suns into a contender following a terrible season last year, leading his team to a record season before losing in Game 6 of the Finals Tuesday night in Milwaukee. And while the box score will reflect that Paul had some impressive statistics in Game 6, he had a couple of costly turnovers late in the last two games that arguably contributed to those losses.
Taken in their totality, it might seem that perhaps Paul, who hasn’t had the most success in the playoffs over the course of his 16 seasons in the NBA, could be contemplating retiring from the game.
Not so, according to Marc Spears, senior NBA reporter for the Undefeated. He tweeted that Paul told him he’s coming back for his 17th season.
“I ain’t retiring,” Paul told Spears. “Back to work.”
Paul had a standout season, even for his own lofty standards. The perennial all-star led by example and provided his young cast of teammates with the steady, veteran leadership required of teams making a serious run at the title. But he and his team were outworked by a hungrier Bucks team led by Antetokounmpo.
if anybody can put adversity behind him, it’s Paul. During this year’s playoffs alone, he tested positive for COVID-19 at a crucial point in a second-round series. After missing two games, he was able to make a triumphant return and help lead his team to the NBA Finals, the first time he has gone that far in the playoffs.
Despite the loss in the Finals, the Suns’ success likely compelled Paul to tell Spears that he planned to return next season. However, it’s unclear which team he’ll be suiting up for since Paul is expected to become a free agent during this offseason. But given his stated devotion to the Suns and the team’s young core of budding superstars, there is still a chance he would remain with Phoenix.
In the meantime, Paul will be left to dwell on “what if” as he likely revisits the series against the Bucks over and over in his head and wondering if he could have done anything differently. Perhaps next season he will be able to answer that question for whichever team he plays for.
This is a developing story that will be updated.