Chris Paul spent a lot of time running the bases during JaVale McGee’s JUGLIFE celebrity softball game Wednesday night at Chase Field.
Sun’s All-Star point guard beat two homeruns in the winning MVP and led the black team to a 20-6 victory in front of 3,500 fans.
“The crazy thing is, he literally called his homeruns,” McGee said. “He called the internal home run, and he called the real home run. He spoke it to reality, and it happened. So I think he deserves the most valuable player. “
Paul had a third homer, but it was convicted as a basic double.
“They took one of them away, it’s all good,” Paul said sitting next to the MVP trophy. “It’s funny, just like JaVale said, I was over there talking about hitting homeruns and (Arizona Cardinals receiver DeAndre Hopkins) went up there and hit one. We were just trying to get them started in a row. This was so It’s a really cool event. “
Paul’s striking strategy was directly aimed at a particular Suns striker who played midfield for the white team.
“My game plan, every time I stepped up to the record, was to hit it by Mikal Bridges,” Paul said. “Honest talk. Mikal was just the weakest link out there. Every time I stepped up, I looked out and saw where Mikal was, and I knew that if I hit it where he was, I had a chance.”
Before the match, Paul took the time to answer a series of questions from the media, but the 17-year-old veteran did not confirm an ESPN report that he played through a quad injury in match 7 of the Western Conference semifinals.
“I saw none of that,” Paul said. “I’m here right now.”
The top-seeded Suns lost to the fourth-seeded Mavericks, 123-90, at the Footprint Center. Paul scored a point in the first half as Phoenix was trailing by 30 points at the break.
“I feel like it was so long ago,” Paul continued. “Can not live in the past. That’s what it is.”
The Athletic reported a COVID outbreak within the team and that an unnamed player tested positive for the virus after match 7.
Suns color commentator Eddie Johnson said on Willard and Dibs’ 95.7 FM Game radio program Paul was ill during the Dallas series.
“You saw Chris Paul dominate in the playoffs until the Dallas series until the second or third game, not true,” Johnson said on the radio program. “And all of a sudden he started fighting. And people, they look and say, ‘Oh, he’s nervous. Oh, he’s playing badly. Oh, someone’s handling him.’ “No, he was sick. Nobody brings it up, and Chris Paul has not taken it up.”
Paul scored 28 points in Phoenix’s Game 2 victory to bring the Suns up 2-0 in the best-of-7, but averaged just 9.4 points in the last five games in the series.
He had the same number of turnovers (18) as field goals (18-of-36) in the last five games of Phoenix’s historic season, winning a franchise record of 64 games.
So Paul was asked on Wednesday about his health and the outbreak.
“I’m fine right now,” Paul said. “I am good.”
As for the loss, Paul said the Mavs “defeated us” as he finished Game 7 with just 10 points.
“We lost and we’re here to support JaVale,” Paul said.
Bridges said he thought the players were healthy in Game 7.
“Everyone was pretty nice to me,” he said.
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