Poll: Is Chris Paul underrated or overrated?


I come to you today with an interesting question as we grow closer to the 2015-16 NBA season: Clippers starting point guard Chris Paul overrated, underrated, or neither?


You won’t find many point guards — or players — in the history of the sport with less flaws than Paul, which is more a testament to his all-around game than his placement on all-time lists (at least, now). He can score, is one of the best playmakers in NBA history, can knock down the three, makes lightwork of his attempts from the mid-range (not many in league history do it better), and is one of the best defending point guards ever.

Figure this: after ten seasons, Paul has totaled 13,060 points, 3,070 rebounds, 6,950 assists, and 1,641 steals, putting him in rare air as only seven NBA players ever have collected at least 13,000pts/3,000rebs/6,900ats/1,600stls: Magic Johnson, John Stockton, Gary Payton, Maurice Cheeks, Mark Jackson, Rod Strickland, Isiah Thomas.

Yet for some reason, Paul isn’t spoken of in the same sentence as his peers. But you know what they say: you’re not a winner… until you’re actually a winner.

Not meeting his goal of winning a championship doesn’t deter from Paul being the best point guard of his generation, trumping any character thrown his way. The 2008-09 season in which he probably should’ve won Most Valuable Player? Arguably the best season by a point guard since one of Magic Johnson’s miraculous years, easily trumping Steve Nash‘s two or Derrick Rose‘s one MVP season, and slightly beating out what we saw from 2014-15 MVP Stephen Curry this past season. Even after a torn achilles in New Orleans, the point guard found a way to stay atop the positional ranking, arguably taking until this past season to be knocked off by the MVP in Curry, and even then, there’s a sound argument to argue to 6-foot guard over any other guard in the league, shooting guards included.

That’s impressive, and while a handful notice the obvious talents, a large contingent of persons still ignore the brilliance that is Chris Paul, and said brilliance may never be recognized until he compliments the talent with the hardware — thanks to an eventful offseason, Paul and the Clippers may never have a better chance while the point guard remains in his basketball prime.

… and now the opposite.

May 15, 2014; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Oklahoma City Thunder forward

Nick Collison

(4) defends against Los Angeles Clippers guard Chris Paul (3) during the fourth quarter in game six of the second round of the 2014 NBA Playoffs at Staples Center. Mandatory Credit: Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports


For good and bad, we remember the players of yesteryear because of their accomplishments, which separate them from the pack: legendary from great, great from good, and so on.

Michael Jordan never lost in six NBA Finals, among the hundred other accomplishments his Airness stumbled upon during his tenure as a Chicago Bull.

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar is a five-time champion and six-time NBA MVP.

Magic Johnson and Larry Bird, pushing the NBA into its ‘Golden Era’ after years of uncertainty in regards to the NBA’s standing as a professional league, combined for eight championships and five MVPs in the 1980s.

Recently, you’ve Tim Duncan and his five championships and two MVPs, LeBron James and his four MVPs and two championships, Dwyane Wade with his three championships and a finals MVP, Kobe Bryant with his five championships and MVP award, plus many more notables who’ll wind up members of the basketball Hall of Fame.

This is ultimately where Paul comes up short.

Not having a MVP isn’t worrisome, and his runner-up appearance in 2008 (one many believed the then-New Orleans point guard should have won after averaging 22.8 points, 11 assists, 5.5 rebounds, and 2.8 steals per game) holds enough weight to ignore the award’s exclusions in Paul’s list of career accomplishments.

More from Clipperholics

It’s after the regular season where Chris Paul’s troubles arise: Not once in his career has Paul surpassed the second round of the playoffs, something common with players such as Tracy McGrady than any all-time point guard that comes to mind: Magic appeared in eight finals, Gary Payton fell in the Finals to Jordan’s Bulls, Steve Nash, while not having a Finals appearance, has numerous Western Conference finals appearances, Jason Kidd is a NBA champion, and in his prime led the Nets to two finals appearances, John Stockton appeared in two finals, falling to Jordan as Pippen did, etc; the list goes on, with even recent faces such as Stephen Curry (NBA champion), Russell Westbrook (appeared in Finals in 2013) reaching plateaus Paul has yet to meet.


As usual, let us know what you think in the poll below!

Next: Power ranking every Clippers player: Who's their MVP?