Oklahoma City Thunder guard Chris Paul, like all of us, has free time on his schedule with the NBA season suspended because of the COVID-19 pandemic. He used some of it Monday to chat with fans on Instagram Live. In the stream, Paul spoke about two of the most memorable moments of his career, one he remembers fondly and another he'd rather forget.
On Jan. 20, 2018, Paul scored a game-high 33 points in a Houston Rockets victory over the Golden State Warriors. But his performance isn't what most remember -- his meme-worthy encounter he had with Warriors coach Steve Kerr is.
Paul pointed and laughed at a remark Kerr made from the opposing bench, then as soon as the coach fell out of eyeshot, Paul scowled. A fan asked Paul about his encounter with Kerr -- which has since become a popular meme -- and Paul explained he fake-laughed because "wasn't s--- funny."
Three years prior to that game, Paul, who then played for the Los Angeles Clippers, found himself in another unforgettable moment against the Warriors –- only he was on the other end of the highlight. Warriors guard Steph Curry drove baseline against Paul, hit him with an ankle-breaking crossover and nailed a mid-range jumper with the bench going bonanzas behind him. Paul brought Curry onto his stream and explained the play succinctly and with a laugh: "He got me," Paul admitted.
This season, though, Paul has gotten the final laugh against most of his opponents. Paul is 10th in the NBA in win shares with 8.1, tying Luka Doncic's figure and above Kawhi Leonard's 7.6. He's also 10th in value over replacement player (3.2).
The Thunder, which traded its former face of the franchise Russell Westbrook for Paul this offseason, own the Western Conference's fifth best record (40-24). Paul leads the team in assists with 6.8 and he has mentored Shae Gilgeous-Alexander. The Thunder acquired Gilgeous-Alexander in the Paul George deal this past offseason, and the second-year guard is already the team's leading scorer (19.3 points per game).