“My family couldn’t believe it either,” Paul said at his introductory news conference Sunday at summer league.
The Warriors wanted to acquire a player they could trust to run their second unit — be the floor general, set up their young bench and take care of the ball.
Paul said he hasn’t spoken to the Warriors or coach Steve Kerr about the intricacies of his new role, or whether he’ll even come off the bench, something he has never done in his 18-year NBA career.
“At the end of the day, it’s basketball,” Paul said. “I’m going into a situation with a bunch of guys who’ve been playing together for a long time. I’m not as worried about it as everybody else is. … We’ll figure all of that stuff out at camp.”
He continued: “You don’t have the answers right now. We’ll practice, and I’m sure there will be things I’ve got to learn about them, they’ve got to learn about me, but that’s the case with any team.”
Paul said he has never played with someone who can create his shot like Stephen Curry does. Nor has he played with someone like Klay Thompson, who once scored 60 points in a game as he dribbled the ball just 11 times. Paul also noted how Draymond Green uniquely creates for others.
But he circled back to emphasize how every new team has to learn to work together, pointing to his pairings with Devin Booker and JJ Redick.
Paul does have familiarity with the cornerstones of the Warriors’ franchise from all of their duels years ago.
For several seasons, Paul’s job against Golden State was to defend Curry. Meanwhile, it was Thompson’s job to defend Paul. And Green’s competitive nature is exactly the kind of fire Paul sees in himself.
But as level-headed as Paul is, there is still some disbelief.
In a gym about 20 minutes off the Las Vegas strip, Paul had a workout with Curry — the first time they had practiced together since 2009.
“There are times when you get a chance to reflect,” Paul said. “Even working out today, we were laughing. … It’s a great opportunity and a blessing to be doing this at our age, because he ain’t young, either.”
Before Paul was traded, there were questions about whether the 12-time All-Star was nearing the end of his career — especially after missing 23 games last season because of injury.
Paul doesn’t view his stint with Golden State as a final curtain — “no question,” he said.
“This is a sport. This is fun. It’s a job, but I get to play basketball every day and say that’s my way of life. … I wouldn’t spend this time training and playing and hooping, the time away from my family if I didn’t love it the way I do. That’s not going to change.”