It’s with a heavy heart I have to inform you that Chris Paul, guard for the Phoenix Suns, will be out indefinitely after entering the NBA’s COVID-19 health and safety protocols.
According to the Athletic, Paul’s status for the Western Conference finals is unclear. The Phoenix Suns handily swept the Denver Nuggets and MVP Nikola Jokić in the Western Conference semifinals, in large part due to a series of great performances by Paul. During the team’s series clinching win last Sunday, Paul put up 37 points and finished the series with 41 assists and only five turnovers.
Paul has largely been credited with helping turn the Suns around, with the team going from a decade of disappointment and heartbreak, to being genuine contenders for the title. (Even if News Editor for The Root, Monique Judge, likes to tell me otherwise.) (Editor’s note: Fuck you, little nigga) Depending on whether or not Paul is vaccinated, and if the Jazz-Clippers series goes to seven games, this could be a scary but ultimately minor bump in the road. Should he have to be quarantined for the full 10-14 days, though, that could severely hamper the Suns’ chances at making the NBA Finals. Unless, of course, the Clippers manage to eke it out against the Jazz now that Kawhi Leonard is out indefinitely with a knee injury.
Considering that Paul has a history of being injured in the playoffs, though, you have to imagine how frustrating this potential roadblock is for him. Especially considering this season has largely felt like a rebuttal to all the critiques that he was washed and didn’t have what it takes to go all the way.
Should he be able to play, this will only be Paul’s second appearance in the Western Conference finals during his storied career. Game 6 in the Jazz-Clippers series is scheduled for this Friday, and depending on the outcome of that game either, Game 7 or Game 1 of the Western Conference finals is scheduled for this Sunday.
So dear lord heavenly father, I’m just gonna take this space to ask that you keep our mans in good health, and let him see this run all the way through. He needs this, the city needs this, and as someone who’s been riding for this team since grade school, I need this dangit.