The Phoenix Suns being eliminated in the second round of the playoffs is surprising on it's own. What's more surprising, however, is the manner in which they were eliminated. They were blown out of the water in Game 7, at home, in one of the most embarrassing beatdowns in playoff history.

Many fans immediately went on Chris Paul because of his terrible game for the Suns. The point guard turned in arguably the worst performance of his long career. His detractors had a field day after Game 7, criticizing him for choking yet again in the playoffs.

At least one Suns legend came to the defense of Chris Paul after the game: Charles Barkley. In an appearance on Ryen Russillo's podcast, Sir Chuck blasted Paul's haters, saying that the point guard was a prove winner. He also said that it was unfair for fans to expect too much from an older Paul at this point in his career.

“As a guy gets older, it's unfair for us to ask him to still be the same guy he was 5, 10 years ago. Listen, playing point guard at Chris's size, he's the best leader I've seen in the NBA, think about this, he's won every single place he's been and if you can't appreciate that you really don't know anything about basketball as a fan.”

Barkley does have a point: every team Paul has played with has been relatively successful. Whether it was Phoenix or Oklahoma City, the man always found a way to make his teams competitive. Barkley also points out that Paul's Rockets were the only team that had success against the dynasty Warriors in 2017 and 2018.

Still, Paul's lack of playoff success will forever be a knock on his career. Perhaps the Suns still have one more run in them, but it's fair to wonder whether Paul's championship window has closed.