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#pounditSunday, December 4, 2022

Chris Paul responds to those saying his championship window has closed

Chris Paul in a Suns jersey

Apr 26, 2022; Phoenix, Arizona, USA; Phoenix Suns guard Chris Paul (3) against the New Orleans Pelicans during game five of the first round for the 2022 NBA playoffs at Footprint Center. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Chris Paul is taking all sorts of heat — and questions — since his Phoenix Suns got dismantled by the Dallas Mavericks in Game 7 of their Western Conference semifinals series on Sunday.

The Suns made the NBA Finals last season, then followed it up by posting the best record in the regular season. But they had a disappointing early playoff exit this year, which has some thining Paul’s best chance to win a championship has passed.

CP3 is dismissing that talk.

“They said it last year. They probably said it in ’08. Every time you lose, they say it was your best chance. I think for me, us, we’ll be right back next year,” Paul said in response to a question from ESPN’s Marc J. Spears after Game 7. “I will tell you this much, I’m not retiring tomorrow, thank God. Hopefully, I’m healthy when I come back. Keep playing.”

Paul was able to outlast time — and critics — by helping the Suns reach the Finals last season. Phoenix’s regular season performance this season was impressive. But it’s hard to feel like things will be better for them moving forward. Paul is aging, they have contract situations to deal with, and Deandre Ayton does not seem happy. If the Suns outperform in 2022-2023 what they did either of the last two seasons, that would be a surprise.

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