An NBA championship still evades Chris Paul.
It took Paul, an 11-time All-Star, 16 seasons to make the first NBA Finals appearance of his career. The veteran point guard appeared to be on his way to winning that elusive title when the Suns kicked off the best-of-seven series with back-to-back wins against the Bucks, but Milwaukee responded with four consecutive victories to claim the league’s most coveted hardware.
Paul, 36, made it clear after the game he’s not retiring. The future Hall of Famer also explained what’s next for both he and the Suns.
“Right now, you’re just trying to figure out what you could have done more,” Paul told reporters, per ESPN. “It’s tough. Great group of guys, hell of a season, but this one is going to hurt for a while.”
Paul continued: “Everybody in that locker room knows we had enough, but it wasn’t enough. So, we got to figure it out. I think for me, I just look at myself and figure out how can I get better, what I could have done more and make sure I come back next season ready to do it again.”
The four-time All-NBA first-teamer has a player option for the 2021-22 season worth just north of $44 million. While one has to imagine Paul will opt in to the final year of his deal and Phoenix will want him back, that hefty salary would handcuff the Suns financially.
Phoenix is set up to succeed next season and beyond, but returning to basketball’s biggest stage will be an awfully difficult task.