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July 13, 2021

Chris Paul

Phoenix Suns

Practice Day

Q. You had Monty early in your career in New Orleans and seemed like you pushed to get to Phoenix in large part because of him. Why was he the right coach for this stage in your career?

CHRIS PAUL: When you play for a coach, you sort of know sort of their mentality, principles. That's one thing I know about Monty is he sort of commands respect. It's not just about how he coaches or whatnot, but how he carries himself. Also having a relationship with Book, with Devin, and having a relationship with Willie Green and James Jones and all these guys. So sort of knew.

Q. What kind of coach do you think you need to coach you the most effectively? What are the attributes a coach has to have?

CHRIS PAUL: I don't know. Every coach is different. I was coached by dad most of my childhood. Football, basketball, I was that kid whose dad was his coach taking him to practice. Was always on me. I've had a ton of different coaches over my career, over my life. And I'm fortunate to have had a lot of really good ones. I mean, great ones. My college coach, Skip Prosser, had maybe the biggest influence on my life in the two years that I played for him. He passed away my second year in the NBA.

But you spend a lot of time with coaches, especially when you're a point guard. There's a lot of conversations, a lot of trust that has to be had there.

Q. You guys have seen some of the best of the best in the playoffs, LeBron, Jokic. Do you think you guys can get Giannis under control or is he something that's such a difficult matchup that his numbers are not really a surprise to you guys?

CHRIS PAUL: We're going to keep trying to build a wall. He's coming full speed every play, like a running back coming downhill. Coach has a saying, we just say we try to get in his way. But he's able to do that because he's surrounded by some really good players too. Because you have Middleton out there on the wing, you got Lopez out there shooting it and you got Jrue Holiday and all these other guys. So we're just going to stick with our game plan and see what we can do.

Q. P.J. just said that he thinks every pick-and-roll is different, like no matter what, something will be different about where it is on the floor, what the defense does. One, do you believe the same thing? And then two, Monty just said that Jrue is one of the best in the league at switching it up, going up, going under, doing different things. How has he made things difficult on you in this series?

CHRIS PAUL: I don't know. I feel like if you play this game long enough and you're a point guard, a lot of times you're not necessarily too worried about the guy that is guarding you. If you're in a pick-and-roll, there's only so much you can do -- you can get over it, you can send me left, you can send me right or you're going to get under it. So, yeah, it's not that hard. They're either going to double you, a guy is either going to chase you. This league is pretty consistent. They send you the same way your whole career, pretty much.

Q. How has Deandre made your life easier? At the start of the series he talked about how he has improved as a screener with you as his point guard. So I'm curious what you think he's been able to do for you?

CHRIS PAUL: Man, DA, as you were talking about, screens, like the angles matter. Angles matter in the screen and the small details. The big man -- Tyson Chandler, DeAndre Jordan, David West. David West was one of the best at it because he just knew if he set the screen this way, he's going to be wide open. DA just understands how to give himself up. The things that he does for us that he does on a nightly basis, it doesn't show up on the stat sheet. When you see this guy get a corner three because he rolled, there's no stat for that. That's why he's so valuable to our team.

Q. During this run have you had the chance to cross paths with any of the Suns' luminaries from the '93 team or anyone in the organization? If so, what have those conversations meant to you?

CHRIS PAUL: No, I haven't. I did an interview with the TNT guys; Chuck was on there. But there's so much going on now, it's hard enough to get time to talk with my family. So, no.

Q. Not that you had a lot of experience, but what's Book like after a bad night? Does it faze him? And what do you think we're going to see tomorrow night from him?

CHRIS PAUL: I think it's more like what's our team like. This ain't golf. It's not tennis. You know what I mean? We're all in this together. So everybody on our team took the loss hard, as we should. We never go into a game expecting to lose. If you showed me somebody who expects to lose, I'll show you a loser. So everybody on our team felt a way. We felt like we could be better. That's why we used yesterday, we'll use today to prepare and we'll all come out ready to play tomorrow.

Q. This might be a strange way to frame it, but as a guy who has had league-wide respect for a very long time, as a superstar, I'm curious, how do you see Giannis? There's been this conversation where two-time MVP, accomplished a lot and then every so often, it's guys kind of speaking up about does he have the skill, is it athleticism, is it size. At times it feels like he's not necessarily respected by the best of the best. How do you see his game? How do you see that conversation?

CHRIS PAUL: He's a two-time MVP. Regardless of how he scores, he does it. You know what I mean? He comes down there, he dunks, he dunks some more and he shoots a layup. You know what I mean? So it is what it is. I think you got to figure out a way to stop him. We have to try to figure out a way to slow him down. For us, slowing him down or not is win the game. Win the game. I don't care what the stat sheet looks like after the game. Win the game.

For him, I mean, he's a two-time MVP, so we got to deal with him as such.

Q. That being said, when he does say pull up from behind that line and do the kinds of things that drive some of the fans crazy, when you're on the court are you going, all right, go ahead, like that's what we need?

CHRIS PAUL: I mean, listen, we all got our specialties. Like, they're not clearing the lane and letting me try to go dunk. That's not what I do. So at the end of the day, we're always going to play the percentages. I might have like half a dunk on the season right now. You figure that out. I think my fingertip might have hit the rim.

Q. On the subject of Giannis again, there's like some awkward comparisons to Shaq because of how he plays inside and how he scores and everything else. Yeah, it's awkward, it doesn't seem natural. But is there something to being physical with him, fouling him to make him feel you? Monty complained about the free throw attempts, but is there something to maybe wearing him down throughout the course of a game as opposed to just letting him dictate the play?

CHRIS PAUL: We're just going to try to win the game, man. I promise you we're just going to try to win the game. Yeah, those comparisons, Shaq didn't push the break. He did in the All-Star Game. Well, he did a few times when he threw that lob or something like that. I don't know about the comparisons. I think for us right now we're just trying to stay focused on what we can do in Game 4 to slow him and the rest of the guys down.

Q. On Willie (Green), obviously he's on the cusp of being a head coach. What kind of head coach do you think he will be?

CHRIS PAUL: Willie Green as a head coach. I don't know, I'm a little biased. I'm a little biased, man. That's my guy right there. I was talking to Book about it last night, this morning. Not just my teammate, that's a brother to me. I know he deserves it. He'll be the most humble, prepared coach you've ever seen in your life. I can't even imagine right now playing and him being a coach.

But I'm unbelievably happy for the opportunity that he may get, for Chauncey, for J-Kidd for Jamahl Mosley, all these coaches getting an opportunity. I'm happy for it, because it's time.

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