by Chris Camello (@Chris_Camello)
BRADENTON, FL — Point guard Chelsea Gray has quickly established herself as a pillar of the Sparks over the past four years playing an integral role in L.A., winning the 2016 WNBA championship, becoming a three-time All-Star, and being named to the All-WNBA First Team in 2019.
Gray encompasses all the qualities an elite point guard should have such as playmaking, scoring, a strong competitive drive, and leadership.
She recently spoke about two NBA point guards whose playing style was comparable to hers.
“A little bit of Chris Paul,” Gray said. “He can distribute but also find his shot. (Paul) has a little bit of a post game sometimes. Chauncey Billups used to also (play) that way.”
Paul and Billups are certainly two of the best point guards all-time to admire. Paul is a 10-time All-Star and made eight All-NBA teams. Billups is a former NBA champion and Finals MVP.
Since he played against both in his own NBA career, Sparks head coach Derek Fisher spoke about the comparisons of Gray to Paul and Billups.
“Those are good male comparisons as far as guys in the NBA,” Fisher said. “I think both (Paul and Billups) played at a pace that even if they weren’t the fastest or quickest on the court, they always had command of the basketball, able to run their team.”
“They were (also) good on-ball defenders and good team defensive players,” Fisher continued. “I think those are areas of growth for Chelsea that as she steps into leadership responsibilities on the defensive end to go along with her playmaking and scoring, it just continues to solidify her position as one of the best guards in this league.”
Just like CP3 and Billups, Gray has an ability to impact a game without blazing speed but with her toughness and high basketball IQ. Her size and strength also make her a difficult matchup for opposing guards. If the Sparks are going to be successful, Gray’s leadership on both ends will be a difference maker.