SAN FRANCISCO -- Chris Paul started his NBA media day this year doing something he's done many times before: filming a State Farm commercial.
But in doing this now regular task, he did something extremely new that still feels strange, even three months later -- he put on a Golden State Warriors jersey to film the commercial.
"It's a transition with anything," Paul said Monday. "You know, just even media day when you're saying, 'Dub Nation' here and there, that's been a sound I didn't like to hear for the past, I don't know how many years."
But Paul is embracing this change and recognizes the opportunity he has in teaming up with Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, Draymond Green and coach Steve Kerr. His hope -- and his team's hope -- is that they deliver Paul his first NBA title.
The biggest question surrounds Paul's role with the team, particularly whether he'd be starting or coming off the bench.
On Monday, Paul was quick to remind everyone that he came off the bench in the 2008 Olympics.
"I think anybody who knows me knows I'm all about winning," Paul said. "Whatever I can do to help our team win. I know Coach and us, we are going to talk about it and see what he likes. We've been hooping all summer. I think for the season it's going to be whatever to help our team win, and I think I've at least tried to show or prove that my entire career."
Last week, Kerr said he plans on using training camp and the preseason to experiment with his starting lineup, noting he has six players deserving of the job.
Whatever Kerr decides -- to start Paul and go extremely small, or stick with Kevon Looney, who helped the Warriors boast the best starting five in the league last season -- it's unlikely that this would be the team's permanent starting group. It's become signature Golden State to swap out its starters depending on matchups.
"We did have the best starting lineup in the league, so you can't ignore that," Green said. "And yet, you can't ignore that Chris Paul is Chris Paul ... What I do know is whatever is best for this team is going to happen."
The hope is that Paul provides a level of organization and calmness that was lacking last season. It was notably missing in the second unit.
Having Paul come off the bench would also allow for more staggered minutes between him and Curry, similar to how the Warriors wanted to manage Curry's minutes with Jordan Poole a year ago.
"[I've] never really had a guy that necessarily was with CP's skillset and the way he's elevated teams his whole career," Curry said. "But the beauty of the way me and Klay can play off the ball ... we know just the talent that he is ... will give us different looks. It should be pretty easy to -- whether it's from whatever lineup you're out there with or from possession to possession who is initiating the offense for us -- work off each other."
If and when Paul starts, it will likely be in place of Looney, who was an iron man for the Warriors the past two seasons. Looney became a pillar in the locker room, known for his level-headedness and doing whatever the team needed. In some cases, this meant coming off the bench.
"I've done played every role from starter to the bench to not dressing to whatever," Looney said. "I feel like I worked hard enough to be a starter in this league, but we got five other guys that been in All-Star Games. Just got to go with the flow and see what happens."
As for Paul, he is coming to his new team with a certain motto. "I've got a friend who always says, 'When everybody does a little, no one has to do a lot,'" Paul said. "That's what I hope to bring to this team."
As weird as it may be for Paul to be a member of the Warriors, and with his role still murky, he has made a concerted effort to fully immerse himself with his new team.
"I've done played every role from starter to the bench to not dressing to whatever. I feel like I worked hard enough to be a starter in this league, but we got five other guys that been in All-Star Games. Just got to go with the flow and see what happens."Kevon Looney
He flew up to San Francisco at 6 a.m. in August for a team workout. He joined the team in Las Vegas during summer league. He organized runs on the UCLA campus.
Any teaching opportunity he sees, with whomever, he wants to take advantage of that. His veteran teammates want that as well.
"To have a guy like Chris Paul to learn from, the experience that he has, when you talk about mastering the point guard position, he mastered that position," Green said. "He's one of the most incredible playmakers we've seen in this league."
Green continued: "I'm extremely excited about the opportunity to learn from him ... When I look at Chris' career, one thing he's been absolutely incredible at is bringing younger guys along, and that's something that I feel like I can be so much better at. So to have someone like that to learn from I think is pretty incredible."