In more than a century of popular sports, there are some dramas so dazzling and puzzling that they entered the dictionary, perhaps more prominent than many of the great achievements of winning championships. When sports writers leaned toward such things in the early 20th century, these ruined plays earned nicknames such as “Merkel’s Fool.” Recently, their memories may be evoked with only one word, such as “Buckner”.

So how do we understand “Paul’s push”?

Chris Paul’s advantage is that his moments of dishonesty are surrounded by the talents of the Bucks and the defeat of Phoenix, so much so that the fatal blow to his chances against the Suns in the 5th game is covered by many references to the 2022 NBA The report of the finals was ignored. In the 2018 Finals, what he was supposed to run out of game time in a tie with JR Smith became the lost episode of the Bucks’ instant classic victory, which increased their series lead to 3-2. , And laid the potential key to their home court in Milwaukee for the sixth game.

We did not hear endlessly how Paul played, but were told repeatedly that Bucks guard Juholidi boldly grabbed the ball from Devin Booker because the Suns chased a basket that could have rebounded in 13 minutes. Basket-Be behind halftime in the last half minute of the game. Focusing on the positive is not negative, but it does help alleviate Paul’s reckless choice of deliberately fouling Bucks All-Star Giannis Antetokounmpo because he threw with 13.5 seconds left in the game The holiday lob pass.

Paul criticized the appropriateness of his foul more than the consequences, but there may be a deeper connection. In his public basketball career, dating back to his time as a national player with Wake Forest, Paul made a mistake when given the opportunity to choose between available tricks and the pursuit of a championship.

His foul on Antetokounmpo was a brutal decision on every level. When Booker was stripped, the Suns trailed by one point and Hollid chose to pitch Giannis instead of waiting to be fouled and forced to take two free throws. When passing the ball, Paul was the only player close to the goal, but at 6 feet 0 feet, he jumped very little, and he basically had no chance to prevent the alley from being heavily surrounded. In any case, Paul promoted Antetokounmpo.

Therefore, the Suns did not pause after scoring, pushed the ball to the frontcourt, and made a three-pointer within ten seconds, but watched Antetokounmpo hit the free throw line. He missed it, it was bad, but the ball was too far from the target, and before any player on the Suns had a good chance to react and block, the ball flew back towards the shooter. Antetokounmpo tilted the ball back and teammate Khris Middleton picked it up and he sank the gripper.

“Everyone is there expecting to miss it,” Paul said. “Damn it, even him.”

If Paul hadn’t put him there, Antetokounmpo would not have missed it.

Former North Carolina All-American player Julius Hodge did not lose this point. He was selected with the 20th overall pick in the same 2005 NBA draft, and Paul ranked fourth in the draft. Hodge’s NBA career ended two years later, but he played a professional player in Italy, Australia and France for ten years and is now an assistant coach in Little Rock.

When he saw Paul’s push, he was not surprised at all, and wrote on Twitter: “This. Dude. It’s just. Can’t. Help. Myself!”

Hodge was always there, which was painful. As a senior wing of the Wolves, in his final regular season game with Vic and Paul, Hodge was hit by Paul’s fist in the belt after the two competed for rebounds. Hodge called it “not provocative” at the time. This resulted in Paul being suspended from Wake in the quarterfinals of the ACC Championship, and the Deacons lost the game, which relegated them to the No. 2 seed in the NCAA Tournament instead of the No. 1 seed, thus facing 7 in the second game. The No. seed West Virginia has a round of March Madness. The Demon Deacon lost to Kevin Pitznogall and the climbers in double overtime.

The team that won Wake’s No. 1 seed Duke was two games behind Deacs in the ACC standings. The North Carolina team, which won the national championship, fell victim to Wick’s 13 points in a regular season. So, apart from Hodge’s obvious discomfort, the most disturbing element of this episode is that Paul seems to have learned very little from it.

There is no doubt that Paul is one of the greatest point guards in NBA history. He has been selected to the All-Star Game 11 times and the All-NBA Team 10 times, but his team’s record in the NBA series is 10-13. Every time a game like Paul’s Push happens, it doesn’t seem to be an unfortunate thing.

This happens often because it is considered a coincidence or accident.

Although he and LeBron James are very close, James has suffered a certain degree of pain after the intersection with Paul at least twice. Starting from a rebounding battle in February 2019, Paul may be called according to NCAA rules. “He made a strange attempt to James in this year’s playoffs and ended up with the Lakers star holding his shoulders. “He was weakened,” ESPN analyst Jeff Van Gundy said on TV. .


None of this is as important as the game against Antetokounmpo. This is an important moment in one of the biggest matches possible. To its credit, Liam McKeone, author of The Big Lead, described Paul’s decision as “the worst thing he can do in this situation.” ESPN’s Max Kellerman called it “a terrible mistake” via Twitter.

Chris Paul’s foul on Giannis was the killer. It’s worse than Booker’s turnover, because at least Jrue Holiday is on the court. Just a terrible mistake. #NBA Finals

— Max Kellerman (@maxkellerman) July 18, 2022

There is no better way to describe it, because it is bad and it is a mistake. This is often what Paul did when the most important game of his career started.


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