Chris Paul's opening press conference as a member of the San Antonio Spurs was as honest as it was routine. He's excited to play for Gregg Popovich and he's well aware of his elder statesmen status in the NBA, but CP3 let it be known that he's not planning on spending the twilight of his career by simply advising Victor Wembanayama.

“I think I've always taken that responsibility very seriously,” Paul said of his expected role as a veteran leader. “But also understanding that I come to hoop. I'm not a coach.”

Chris Paul notes importance of veteran balance with Spurs

Golden State Warriors guard Chris Paul (3) grabs the basketball against San Antonio Spurs center Victor Wembanyama (1)
Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

While Chris Paul doesn't hide from the reality of his 19 seasons in the NBA, he also noted that he enjoys being on the other end of the experience spectrum as well.

“There's definitely things to be learned. I come in, obviously, with a lot of knowledge from on-the-job training but I also come in trying to learn from these guys,” Paul continued. “That's probably been the coolest thing about my career is that, yeah, I've gone to some teams that are younger, but I'm constantly learning from these guys.”

The Oklahoma City Thunder and Phoenix Suns are among the six teams in the league he's suited up for. While in OKC, he teamed with a young Shai Gilgeous-Alexander. In Phoenix, he occupied the same back court as Devin Booker.

“I had a chance to play with Shai in his second year in the league and I got a chance to learn from him. I got a chance to learn from Book, Mikal Bridges and all those guys so I'm excited to share with these guys what I know or whatever they want to know. I'm also excited to see what I can learn from them,” the Point God added.

As for the Wembanyama factor, Paul made no bones about that opportunity either.

“Well, that definitely helps. That definitely didn't hurt,” admitted the 39-year-old who's coming off one year with the Golden State Warriors.

“Victor being here helped and them having a young team and getting a chance to watch him. I played against him this season and I'll tell you there's probably no player in the league that everybody talks about [more] after the game. Me and Harrison [Barnes] were on our flight talking about how cool it's going to be at this point in our careers to get a chance to appreciate him day in and out. That definitely helped.”

Harrison Barnes is the team's other notable veteran addition. Both pointed to the franchise's reputation.

“Knowing the pedigree that this organization has; everything around it, from coaches to front office,” Paul continued. “Like I said, I've played for a number of teams now and Pop and the Spurs probably have the deepest tree in the league. Everybody sort of branches off from here and ends up better.”

In the end, the future Hall of Fame point guard who started his career with the New Orleans Hornets before the Los Angeles Clippers and Houston Rockets put it simply: the “opportunity to hoop” is his driving motivation.

“I hate to lose more than I like to win, so one thing you should know about is we gonna compete.”