Chris Paul was named rookie of the Year, an NBA All-Star MVP, etc., and fans ask how many rings does Chris Paul have? Chris Paul doesn’t have a ring to complete his colorful resume.
The ridiculed Paul legacy without a ring could have changed had the Suns won the Larry O’Brien trophy in the 2020-21 NBA season. The Suns looked like winners racing to an early two-game lead, but the Bucks closed out the series with a four-game run to win the championship in six games.
This material delves into Chris Paul’s playoff career and what’s stopping him from hoisting a trophy.
Does Chris Paul Have NBA Ring?
“CP3” Chris Paul is a 12-time NBA All-Star, an NBA All-Star MVP, won two Olympic golds, etc. But has Chris Paul ever won a championship? Paul has never won a championship or worn an NBA ring. However, Paul came close to winning some.
In the 2018-19 season, the Rockets and Warriors split the first four games in the Western Conference Finals. CP3 had a poor shooting performance in Game 5 due to a hamstring injury. James Harden stepped up for a win and a 3-2 lead in the series. Unfortunately, CP3 was sidelined in the remaining two games, and the Warriors went to win in 7. The Warriors swept the Cavaliers for their third title.
CP3’s presence in the Phoenix team energized the Suns to the second-best record in the 2020-21 NBA season and a ticket to the NBA Finals. The Suns were ahead 2-0, then the Bucks answered back with four straight wins to close the series and dashed Paul’s hopes and the Suns of a championship.
Four teams remain standing in the 2022 NBA Playoffs, and the Suns aren’t one of them. Dallas Mavericks defeated the Phoenix Suns in a blowout Game 7 in the second round of the Eastern Conference playoffs. CP3’s subpar performance in the final five games can be attributed to a quad injury.
In the NBA, to be called a great player you must have a championship or a few under your belt. Teams and players that win a championship wear a ring; you don’t earn one just by being called great or coming close to winning championship lots of times.
CP3 is undoubtedly one of the best point guards in the NBA, but his inability to climb the peak of the mountain hurts his career. A ring on CP3’s finger will cement his legacy in basketball and legitimize his greatness.
Why Did Chris Paul Never Win a Ring?
To wear a ring, a player needs to be on a competitive team and stay healthy all season. Let’s look at what’s preventing Chris Paul from getting over the hump and winning an elusive NBA title.
The Suns’ management brought back most of their key players and re-signed Deandre Ayton to man the center slot. Chris Paul and Devin Booker are a formidable backcourt tandem, and Mikal Bridges, DeAndre Ayton, and Jae Crowder are defensive specialists.
With Chris Paul on board, the Suns team was involved in numerous playoffs and nearly snatched the crown in 2020-21. Paul is considered one of the best point guards in the league. CP3 can shoot, pass, defend, and run the plays for the team.
Devin Booker is a scorer and can run the point; he showed tenacity on defense last season.
Deandre Ayton is a multifaceted player who can pass, defend, and knock down medium-range shots. He is a shot blocker and a great rebounder.
Mikal Bridges is a defensive player and gets lots of tough assignments; he has a decent 3-point shot.
Damion Lee is a 2022 Golden State Warriors champion team member and can give scoring support off the bench.
Money is a great motivator, and the Suns’ franchise takes care of its players. An NBA player of Paul’s caliber receives a lucrative salary to get all the comforts they need in life, and more. Paul’s remaining contract with the Suns team.
- 2022-23: $28.4 million fully guaranteed
- 2023-24: $30.8 million with $15.8 million guaranteed
- 2024-25: $30.0 million (none guaranteed)
For the 2022-23 season, Paul’s salary is $28.4 million. Paul’s contract is fully guaranteed on June 28, 2023, and he won’t receive the full $30.8 million if Paul gets cut before the start of the 2023-24 season.
According to his agents, Paul is the 41st best-paid player in the NBA and the 3rd best-paid player in the Phoenix team in the 2022-23 season.
Chris Paul is injury prone, and his body fails at key moments that’s why he never reaches the next level. During his career, Paul misses a few games a year and longer stretches for major injuries. Many of them during important playoffs, that’s why he doesn’t wear a ring.
In 2015, the Clippers were leading the Rockets 3-1 in the Western Conference Semifinals when Paul suffered a hamstring injury. Paul returned to finish the series, but it wasn’t good enough, Rockets closed out in seven.
The Rockets were in control, leading the Warriors 3-2 in the 2018 NBA Western Conference Finals. Paul was missing in the final two games due to a hamstring injury and the Warriors romped off with the win in seven games.
Paul was playing hurt with a quad injury and the Mavericks won in seven games in season 2021-22 of the Western Conference Semifinals.
Suns management kept its best lineup intact for an interesting season ahead. At 37, Chris Paul has what it takes to push the Suns for a championship window. And hopefully no major injuries during the playoffs.
It would be nice to see Chris Paul inducted into the NBA hall of fame wearing a ring.
How Many Times Has Chris Paul Made it into the Finals?
Despite CP3’s numerous accolades, he hasn’t won an NBA championship. In 142 playoff appearances, CP3 advanced to the Conference Finals twice and an NBA Finals Appearance.
CP3 ‘s lone Finals appearance was against the Milwaukee Bucks in NBA season 2020-21.
On their way, the Suns ousted the defending champion Lakers (4-2), swept the Denver Nuggets, and took care of business against the Clippers (4-2). A victory against the Bucks will complete the remaining unchecked boxes in CP3’s colorful resume.
The Suns were off to a good start in the series burying the Bucks in a 0-2 hole. But Giannis Antetokounmpo was ably backed by Khris Middleton, Jrue Holiday, and company to make a 4-0 win-run to claim the 2020-21 NBA Trophy. Antetokounmpo top scored in Game 6 with 50 and was named the NBA Finals MVP; CP3 led the Suns with 26 points.
How Far Has Chris Paul Made it in the Playoffs?
Chris Paul is undoubtedly one of the best point guards in basketball, but his inability to bring his team to win leaves naysayers smiling. CP3 was involved in 142 playoff games and one trip to the NBA Finals. Here’s a recap of CP3’s NBA Playoff record.
New Orleans Hornets: 2008-11
Paul was 10-13 with the Hornets for three seasons. The Hornets’ highest playoff level was a second-round loss to the San Antonio Spurs in seven games in 2008.
LA Clippers: 2012-17
The Clippers were in the playoffs six times, matching CP3’s presence with the team. In 2012, 2014, and 2015 the Clippers went past round 1 but got eliminated in the second. CP3’s playoff record was 23-30 with the Clippers.
Houston Rockets: 2018-19
The Rockets were mano-a-mano with the Warriors two years in a row. In 2018, the series went the full distance with the Warriors winning the Western Conference Finals. CP3 was 17-9 donning the Rockets jersey.
Oklahoma City Thunder: 2020
The Thunder was eliminated in the first round and CP3’s record was 3-4.
Phoenix Suns: 2021
It’s the Suns and the Bucks for the 2020-21 NBA championship. The Suns were up 2-0 and looked like Paul and the Suns were every inch the champion. But the Bucks went on a 4-0 tear to romp off with the crown. The playoff record of Paul with the Suns is 19-14 and counting.
Other Great NBA Players Who Have Never Won a Ring
The NBA produced players with extraordinary skills and amazing leadership abilities capable of winning championships, but unfortunately, some great players have not won a ring. Let’s look at some of them.
“The Mailman” Karl Malone is a complete two-way player with a career average of 25.0 points, 10.1 rebounds, and 3.6 assists. The Mailman came close to winning a championship three times; twice as a Jazz in seasons 1996-97 and 1997-98, and as Laker in 2003-04.
When people talk about GOAT basketball players “Sir Charles” Barkley will always be included in the discussion. Sir Charles’ small 6-foot-6 frame put up ridiculous numbers of 25.6 points, 12.2 rebounds, 5.1 assists and 1.6 steals in the season 1992-93. Barkley’s performance earned him MVP honors and led the Suns to the Finals against Michael Jordan. The Bulls won in six games.
Mention any major accolade and “The Beard” James Harden has it under his belt, except a ring. At 33, The Beard has many great years ahead to win an NBA title.
Wrapping Things Up: How Many Rings Does Chris Paul Have?
When people talk about basketball greatness, they associate rings with the discussion. Undoubtedly, Chris Paul is a great player but has Chris Paul ever won a championship?
The Suns are a complete team and Paul, at 37, has time to turn things around before the door shuts. Multiple titles may be too much to ask, but a lone championship will change the way people think about his career.
If you’re interested in learning Chris Paul‘s story, check out this basketball biography book.
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