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Video/quotes: Chris Paul on Robert Sarver findings, mentality entering 19th season at Suns Media Day

Everything the future Hall-of-Famer said on Monday

NBA: Playoffs-Dallas Mavericks at Phoenix Suns Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Here is what Phoenix Suns All-Star point guard Chris Paul said at the team’s Media Day on Monday morning.

On the findings of the investigation into Suns owner Robert Sarver and his social media statement:

“It was unfortunate. That stuff going on in the workplace is really unfortunate. So just like I’m sure everybody felt, thoughts and prayers to everybody involved. You try to control what you can control. And I can’t speak for all the players and everything like that, but it was tough to read and it was disturbing.”

If he spoke with NBA commissioner Adam Silver about the Sarver findings:

“Yeah, I talk to Adam regularly. Also, (Miami Heat point guard) Kyle Lowry, (New Orleans Pelicans and NBA Players’ Association president) CJ McCollum and different guys. For the most part, guys sort of give their feelings, so how they feel and you sort of try to move on with that.”

Relating the Sarver to findings to that of former Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling, who was banned from the NBA for life for racist statements:

“It’s funny, it was a totally different time, sort of a situation. When I say that, I mean — obviously — the situations are somewhat similar in the change of ownership and all of this. But we were in the middle of a playoff series, I was a lot younger at the time. This was over the course of the summer when guys are with their families and things like that. So it’s a different situation and I think tonight will be the first time that our team actually gets a chance to all be together before we start (training camp) tomorrow.”

If he got a sense that Jae Crowder was dissatisfied when the season ended:

“Man, when the season, it was tough on everybody. It was tough on everybody, especially losing the way that we did. But I think the summer is a time where guys get to be on their own and be with their families. For me personally, this is probably the best summer I had in my career, just getting real time with my family. So I was fully engulfed in that this summer. So everybody’s feelings and things and such, I’m not sure. But what I know is everybody has to do what’s best for them. And I’m always going to support any one of my teammates, especially someone like Jae who is a huge reason why we were even successful the past few years.”

On having more time off this offseason than last:

“I feel good, I feel really good. But it was more so — like I said — getting that time with my family. I think that was the biggest plus of this offseason.”

If he learned or regretted everything from the Suns’ season-ending series loss to the Dallas Mavericks in 2022:

“Not really, honestly. I haven’t thought about it too much. At some point, I’ll probably get back to watching the film. Maybe watch it, maybe not. I hate to keep saying the same thing over and over, but for me, this summer was like putting that time in with my family.”

On Suns starting center Deandre Ayton signing a four-year, $133 million extension in free agency:

“Happy for him. Happy for him. Anytime guys get an opportunity to set up possible generational wealth for their family doing something like playing a game or a sport, I’m always excited about. So I was happy for DA when he signed his contract, because of course we want to win. Everybody wants to win. But you also want guys to succeed and be able to take care of their families.”

On his emotions on reading the Sarver report, specifically with his use of the ‘N’ word:

“I don’t know if I talked to Chris (his son) about it. He sort of knows what’s going on. But it was tough just like everybody, reading all the different things as far as the ‘N’ word. But it was more so also the things that people have to endure in the workplace. So reading all of it, it was tough probably just like anybody else.”

On how the ‘N’ word affects him personally:

“I think it’s tough and it’s different. It’s always going to be like a topic of conversation, you know what I mean? People saying that it’s this or it’s that. That’s not for me to judge how you listen or take things in. But for me, I read it, I read all of it, the full report and like I said, I was bothered by it. But now we got to move on.”

On the qualities he feel like a new owner should have:

“That’s a whole ‘nother situation right there. I don’t know if I — yeah, that’s another topic of conversation right there.

“Still playing right now. But if you’re going to let me be a part of a group right now when I play, then I’m all for it. I’ll tell you everything you want to know.”

On his reaction to Brooklyn Nets forward Kevin Durant listing the Suns as a preferred trade destination:

“I feel like so much (inaudible) happened since then that I don’t even remember. I done know KD for a long time, one of the best players to ever play this game. So any time you hear something like that, obviously you’re like, ‘Well, damn.’ But everything happens for a reason. This was said, that was said or whatnot. So we just never know.”

On the psyche of being traded:

“I don’t think it’s like a, ‘Woe is me’ situation. Because, not I’m sure, I know there’s guys who have been traded more times than I have and been in tougher situations. But a perspective for it from me, I think it’s just like my family, being away from them. Obviously, that’s a choice that we make, but playing away from my wife and my kids for the past few years is probably the toughest part. But yeah, it’s a lot of guys who get moved during the season and then they go to a particular city and their family stays back. So you play in this league, you’re going to see what a lot of different things feel like.”

On helping the Suns ease the pressure from the Sarver findings and their end of the season last year:

“It’s tough. I think initially when everything happened, my biggest concern was to my teammates. Because you’re in the locker room where it ranges from 19 (years old) to 37. And everybody wants to put a microphone in their face and ask them how they feel about things they can’t control. So my first instinct went to somewhat protective. Because I was worried about my guys and how people want to take a sound bite when they give one answer. I think that was the thing that concerned me the most, obviously, because I’ve been through similar situations and just being in the league a little bit longer. Just want them to be ready for camp tomorrow and like I said, control what they can control.”

On navigating the Sarver investigation over the last 10 months:

“It was no pressure. Luckily for us, basketball is our happy place. That’s the one place where we absolutely get a chance to be, and there’s no phones, there’s no TVs, there’s no nothing, right? Like you ought to see when we have our pickup games, it’s like our freest moment. Because you get a chance to hoop. That’s what everybody’s here for, at the end of the day, is that we get a chance to play the game of basketball. But we’re humans, too. We’re people just like everybody else and we need somebody to talk to. We need some type of peace and we need not for our phones to be going off all the time but it’s cool to get in the locker room with guys and get on the court and just be.”

On his feelings leading into this season:

“My kids was out of school today, so my wife brought them in town to see me yesterday, surprised me. And they fly out this evening. So that’s, everything to me is about them. They’re 13 and 10 now (his kids), so any and everything that I do is going to be about them.”

On how he’s prepared himself physically and mentally for the season:

“Just sort of put my head down and did the work. Just worked all summer long. It’s balance, I think that’s what we’re all trying to find. Work balance, life balance, family balance. It’s probably one of the coolest summers because little Chris got to work out with me this summer. So just try to make sure that I can be the best player for our team coming in this season. So that’s my biggest focus.”

On Bill Russell’s number being on NBA jerseys:

“Bill Russell is one of a kind. One of a kind. It was seamless for the [NBA Players’ Association] and league to put that number on everybody’s jersey. Because not only what he meant to the league but what he just meant to people. The greatest winner to ever play in the league, the activist that he was and somebody that the league is going to miss.”

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