During the last couple of seasons in his tenure with the Los Angeles Clippers, All-Star point guard Chris Paul found himself at the center of criticism due to his style of leadership that he plays with on the court.
This was an aspect of his character that only was only brought under fire when the team experienced any stretches of struggles or following their shortcomings in the playoffs.
According to Jackie MacMullan of ESPN, his former Clippers teammate J.J. Redick did acknowledge the notion that Paul is difficult to play with at times but enjoyed it.
“I'm sure I'm a tough leader,” Paul finally says. “But if I'm so bad to play with, then how come Luc and J.J. wanted to be here with me?” (Says Redick: “Is Chris tough to play with? Yes, in the sense that there's an edge to the way he plays, and if you have a different personality, it can grind at you a little bit. I always liked it.”)
The 32-year-old has been long regarded by many of his peers as being one of the best leaders in the league, but that territory comes with some backfire when things don't transpire in the manner that was hoped. This came to be for Paul after the Clippers' disappointing trips in the postseason that saw them fall well short of the ultimate goal of an NBA title.
At the same time, it is Paul's competitive spirit, which has drawn some comparison to future Hall of Famer Kobe Bryant, that has been the source of some conflict. This could be viewed as something that can be a double-edged sword at various moments.
Ultimately, this is apart of the mental fabric of the player that Paul has been throughout his NBA career and has helped him become one of the best players in the league for over the past decade.