LAS VEGAS – Chris Paul has changed his mind and is leaning toward playing in the 2016 Olympics.
The Los Angeles Clippers point guard, who was on the 2008 and 2012 gold medal teams, said he was leaning heavily toward bypassing the 2016 Games — until Duke’s Mike Krzyzewski announced he was returning to coach the team.
“If it had been another coach than Coach K, I was prepared to be done,” Paul told ESPN.com.
Paul will be 31 when the 2016 Olympics, which will be held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, take place. He will still likely be a major piece for the team, despite a strong crop of young and talented point guards that includes Derrick Rose, Kyrie Irving, Russell Westbrook and Stephen Curry.
Paul was in Las Vegas coaching his CP3 All-Stars summer league program this week shortly after returning from a trip to China with teammate Blake Griffin and New York Knicks star Carmelo Anthony. Paul also watched the Team USA intrasquad scrimmage in Las Vegas Thursday night, which featured nearly 30 of the top young NBA players.
This past season, Paul and the Clippers were knocked out of the first round of the playoffs, but hope to come back stronger with the acquisition of their new head coach, Doc Rivers.