Chris Paul, who at 36 closed his first NBA Finals with defeat, regretted on Tuesday that the great season of the Phoenix Suns did not end with a ring for the Arizona (USA) franchise.
"It's hard. This team is a great group. An enormous season, but this is going to hurt for a while ”, he assured in the press conference after the meeting.
Giannis Antetokounmpo, with 50 points, shattered the illusions of the Suns (105-98), who lost the NBA Finals 4-2 at the hands of the Milwaukee Bucks.
The Suns were leading 0-2 in these Finals, but subsequently lost in four consecutive games that left the title in Milwaukee (USA), the first for the Bucks since 1971.
Paul, with 26 points and 5 assists, was the main reference for the Suns, who suffered the worst performance and in the worst moment of Devin Booker (19 points, with 8 of 22 shooting, and 6 losses).
The point guard was sad for himself and his teammates, but insisted that this disappointment will only lead him to attempt the title assault even more strongly in the future.
“For me it just means going back to work. Go back to work. Nothing more, nothing less. There are no moral victories, ”he explained.
“I am not going to withdraw, if that is what you are asking me. That is ruled out. So back to work, "he said.
For his part, Devin Booker described the atmosphere in the Suns' locker room: “Quiet. Just a lot of excitement. It's been a long season, we've been through a lot ”.
“We are an emotional group. We have fought hard, we have trained hard, we have had a lot of fun together, we have trusted each other, we have loved each other and we have say it all the time. We had a common goal of taking a championship to Phoenix and it's hard not to achieve that, "he said.
Founded in 1968, the Suns do not hold an NBA title and are the oldest franchise to ever achieve the championship.
Booker, 24, with one of the most promising horizons in the league, noted that these Suns, who were the second-best team of the regular season, have laid a foundation for the future.
"Experience is the best teacher," said the guard, who encouraged his teammates to conserve "the pain" they have today to use it as "fuel" to improve in the next season.
Booker will have a much shorter summer than his teammates, as he travels to Tokyo tomorrow to join the US team at the Olympics.