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Sports Illustrated: Chris Paul Doesn't Need a Ring to Prove He's a Winner

Sports Illustrated's Robin Lundberg says what Chris Paul is doing in Oklahoma City proves rings aren't the only measure of success.
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Thunder Guard Chris Paul already has a Hall of Fame resume'. But, like Karl Malone, John Stockton, and Charles Barkley before him, he lacks a championship on his list of accomplishments.  

 Ever since Michael Jordan did repeat threepeat rings became the ultimate judge of a player's success. Before Jordan, it was understood that no matter how good you were as an individual, you could only control your performance.   

However, because Jordan "made people around him better," and he was also apparently the General Manager and coach of the Chicago Bulls in the mid-'90s, anything less than holding the O'Brien trophy at the end of the year is a failure. 

If it were only that cut and dry. In 12 years of watching the Thunder, what we've learned is winning a championship is damn hard. Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook, and Paul Geroge all learned the same thing. 

Chris Paul knew this, and it would have understandable last season if he demanded a trade from Oklahoma City as soon as he learned he was no longer wanted in Houston. But, Paul did the opposite; he took on the role of mentor and leader and has the Thunder in a realistic position to make a run in the playoffs. 

Robin Lundberg of Sports Illustrated says:

"What CP3 is doing in Oklahoma City proves that rings aren't the only measure of success." ..."Don't forget when Paul got to OKC people thought he would demand a trade to get off a losing rebuilding team."

"Well, they aren't losing, and they are building something."...."I don't know if it's possible for Paul to be on a losing team; his presence impacts the game in too many ways."

"That's what happens when you can completely control a game, look to set up your teammates are money from the midrange and compete ferociously on both ends."

While Lundberg doesn't expect the Thunder to win a championship, he sees them as a tough out based on Paul's performance in the clutch. Whatever happens over the next few games, Thunder fans have gotten more than they could have asked for thanks to Paul. 

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With more than 20 years of experience hosting local and national radio shows, Erik Gee is a fixture of Oklahoma sports media. He has covered the Oklahoma City Thunder for the past six seasons. He is also the co-host of the Pat Jones show on 97.1 The Sports Animal in Tulsa.