Chris Paul Contradicts Friend LeBron James Over NBA’s Compressed Season, Says “Everything Was Discussed”

Published 07/06/2021, 12:15 AM EDT
May 23, 2021; Phoenix, Arizona, USA; Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James (23) falls over Phoenix Suns guard Chris Paul (3) in the second half during game one in the first round of the 2021 NBA Playoffs at Phoenix Suns Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports


The pandemic, primarily, forced the NBA athletes to play inside a testing bio bubble. Secondly, it demanded an extended 2019-20 season and hence a smaller off-season, which meant not enough rest for the players. The implications of this saw mixed reactions coming from the likes of Adam Silver, LeBron James and Chris Paul among others. 

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There were eight NBA teams that didn’t play a game for nine months as only 22 teams flew to the Disney bubble. Plus, 14 more teams left the bubble by the first week of September. So naturally, the complaints did not come from the leaders of every NBA squad but it was a general consensus that the season started way too early. 

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Chris Paul does not buy this criticism

Recently, Chris Paul raised his voice against the narrative and defended the league for its tough stand on important dates. The 36-YO did not speak as a Phoenix Suns player but as the President of the National Basketball Players Association (NBPA) when he said, “Injuries are always unfortunate. You hate to have them”

He was saying this in the context that nine All-Stars missed at least one playoff game, the most ever. In fact, there was hardly a team that played their postseason series with their roster completely intact. Yet, the league emphasizes that the internal data suggests the league-wide injury rate was as it was in the past years.

To defend the 71-day off-season, CP3 added, “just like when we went to the bubble, everything was discussed as far as the players and the full body of players. Everything that’s good for this guy and that guy might not be the same for that guy. But everything has always been a conversation, and it’s going to continue to be that way. So if people don’t like it, then you know everybody has the same opportunity to be a part of all these conversations.”

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May 23, 2021; LeBron James embraces Chris Paul after the latter suffered an injury at Phoenix Suns Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

LeBron James has been the top critique for almost everything

This year, LeBron James looked more pissed with the league than ever. He first expressed his shock at the shortened off-season and then criticized the green signal to the ASG 2021. Then, he slammed the league for forcing a play-in tournament that further made the teams play extra games. 

From the business perspective, the league did all of this to overcome the financial losses from the uninvited halt. The 72-Game structure ensured more games on a daily basis and hence continued excitement. But many players believed these decisions ignored the mental/physical health of its most crucial stakeholders.

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However, the 11x All-Star believed these decisions were bottom-top and not the other way around. The veteran contradicted Bron and added, “There’s a ton of guys on the executive committee who are working hard on things right now as we speak — day in and day out, traveling. I wish you guys knew all the things that are going on. So decisions that are made as far as playing or not playing, players are always involved in it.”

What’s your take on these two differing opinions? Help us know how you see the whole situation in the comments below. 

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Sourabh Singh

1413 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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