In 1998, one of the greatest running backs in NFL history walked away from the game at 30 years old. Could 2015 bring a similarly premature retirement from one of the NBA’s best point guards?
Chris Paul hinted in an HBO special that he has pondered pulling a Barry Sanders and stepping away in his prime. Paul’s motivation would be to spend more time with his children, whereas Sanders was just tired of the Lions’ persistent losing, but the loss of getting to watch one of the sport’s best would be the same to fans.
“I love to play basketball more than anybody,” Paul told Mary Carillo on HBO Real Sports. “I’m serious, nobody loves to play basketball more than I do. But I could honestly see myself maybe stopping a little early or premature just because I hate to miss anything with my kids. I would hate for my kids to recall those special moments in their life, and I wasn’t there.”
Paul, 28, is signed through 2018 on a five-year maximum contract extension he inked with the Clippers this summer. He has made six All-Star teams, won an All-Star Game Most Valuable Player award and was the NBA’s Rookie of the Year in 2005-06. The only thing missing from his resume is a championship, which his coach, Doc Rivers, believes is within reach this year.