Point guard says he is prepared to pass the baton to his younger teammate soon.
Los Angeles Clippers star point guard Chris Paul says he is not the leader of the side, and says instead, Blake Griffin will spearhead a run towards the title.
Despite reshaping the franchise from a joke to a Western Conference contender in the two seasons he has been there, the six-time All Star says Griffitn is the side’s future.
“Blake is one of those guys, where his age has nothing to do with anything,” Paul said.
“People may say he’s a young guy, but he’s been special in this league, he’s been an All Star. His voice carries a lot of weight and I think our team will definitely go as Blake goes.
“He’s our guy, and he’s good enough to do so.”
Griffith experienced a varied year in 2012-13 in his personal stats as he attempted to manage his minutes in the lead-up to a play-off run.
His points per game (18.0) and rebounding (8.3) fell from his overall career averages, however, his assists (3.7) and steals (1.2) went up in a sign he is beginning to involve himself more off the ball.
Paul says his belief that Griffin will be a leader of the not-too-distant future stems from the time they have spent together in the off-season.
“It’s been a great summer for us. I think we’ve both had an opportunity to grow,” Paul said.
“As you get older you realise it’s all about winning and I think we both realize we really need each other in order to do that.”
Paul also revealed he is over a series of niggling injuries which did hamper him during the Clippers failed playoff run last season, which ended at the hands of the Memphis Grizzlies.
As a result the star guard said he is sick of being on the outside looking in when it comes to the finals every season, adding he wants to make up for lost time.
“For me, years from now I’ll never remember we won 56 games in the regular season [in 2012]. The only thing I’ll remember is we were up 2-0 and we lost 4-2. That’s all I remember. I just know we lost.
“It’s something I think about every day. I’m going to keep fighting until something gives. Ricky Bobby said it best,” Paul said, referring to the ‘Talladega Nights’ film starring Will Ferrell.
” ‘If you’re not first you’re last’ and I’ve been last the past eight seasons.”