Charles Barkley Gives Michael Jordan Example, Explains Why Chris Paul Should Win MVP Over LeBron and Others

Published 03/12/2021, 11:30 PM EST
Feb 13, 2021; Phoenix, Arizona, USA; Phoenix Suns guard Chris Paul (3) and Phoenix Suns guard Devin Booker (1) celebrate during the second half against the Philadelphia 76ers at Phoenix Suns Arena. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports


Phoenix Suns are quickly becoming the WC’s most dangerous franchise, with back-to-back smashing victories over big teams. Devin Booker is finally looking as dangerous as he appeared in the Orlando Bubble, and he now has a great helping hand in a performing Chris Paul. 

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In the last 16 games, the Suns have been 14-2, and that speaks volumes about the turnaround they’ve pulled from February onwards. In this period, the only two losses they endured came in closely contested games against the Hornets and Nets. So, does all this make a case around CP3 stretching his hands towards grabbing the MVP trophy? 

Charles Barkley showed his complete faith in Chris Paul

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In a recent debate, Hall of Famer Charles Barkley went against Shaquille O’Neal and cast his vote on CP3. He strongly suggested Paul’s MVP candidacy by explaining, “If a guy traded for a guy on a last-placed team, they didn’t make the playoffs. If a team made a trade in the off-season, and they went from last place to first place. Why will we not mention that guy for MVP? I think he’s the key ingredient. Shaq is 100% wrong, he said the team doesn’t matter. The team does matter. We talk about all these other guys who are playing great, I’m not going to hate on the Joker, I’m not going to hate on Embiid.”

It has been 10 years since the Suns last showed up in the playoffs in 2010. That’s a long time for a team to rebuild and make a comeback.

But it never happened until the veteran leader in Chris Paul entered the team and perhaps helped with a change in mindset. However, when it comes down to becoming the MVP, his numbers are not as strong when compared to other favorites.

While Stephen A. Smith had earlier added Kyrie Irving’s name in the runners for the trophy, Shaq was stuck with Joel Embiid (Sixers) and Nikola Jokic (Nuggets).

He clearly stated, “Most Valuable Player is singular” and rejected CP3’s chances. Apart from these names, the likes of LeBron James and Giannis Antetokounmpo already remain omnipresent in every MVP conversation. So. it’s a tough class to break into.

The history supports CP3 and his shot at the title

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Back in the day, Steve Nash became the league MVP not once but twice in 2005 and 2006, while staying a runner-up in 2007. In those three regular seasons, the Suns had won 177/246 games or almost 72% of their games.

So, even as Steve never touched the average of 20 ppg, he still managed to win the trophy twice because of his impact on the team’s winning. The same holds true for MJ; he was a phenomenal player all through the 80s but did not win an MVP in any of those seasons.

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Chuck took it into consideration and addressed, “Shaq, when Steve Nash won the MVP, he wasn’t better than you. He wasn’t better than Kobe, but they had a better regular-season… I hate this stupid argument every year. It’s not who the best player. Listen, Michael Jordan was the best player, probably three years before he got into the MVP conversation because his team wasn’t any good… When Magic and Bird were going back and forth, it was whoever had the best regular season. It wasn’t about who is the best player.”

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Presently, a 15-year veteran, Paul is averaging 16.1 points, 4.7 boards, 8.8 assists, and 1.1 steals at 39.5% 3-point shooting. Can he better those numbers and come in the top 3 contenders for winning it? Well, if the Suns end up on the top of WC, he certainly has a big chance of pulling that.

Read AlsoLeBron James Sets a League Record at 36 That Chris Paul and Carmelo Anthony Can Have a Hard Time Beating

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Sourabh Singh

1690 articles

Sourabh Singh is an NBA sports analyst for EssentiallySports, who has been working with the site since May 2020. Prior to this, he functioned as Managing Editor at WittyFeed, followed by a stint at Decathlon. The Sports Management graduate leads an active lifestyle, veering to the mountains for off-trail adventures.

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