Paul: 'At this point of my career, it's all about winning'

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Sean M. Haffey / Getty Images Sport / Getty

Sitting alongside GM Daryl Morey and head coach Mike D'Antoni, Chris Paul tackled a variety of topics Friday at his introductory press conference with the Houston Rockets, including his partnership with James Harden and his goal of winning a championship.

"I haven't been as excited about basketball in a while. It's a new start. It's a fresh start. The timing couldn't be better," Paul told reporters, according to Ben DuBose of the "Locked on Rockets" podcast. "To be here now at this point of my career, it's all about winning."

Paul, whose playoff aspirations were stifled for years as a member of the Los Angeles Clippers, even worked in a "Talladega Nights" reference.

"There is no reason in playing unless you're playing to win. Ricky Bobby said it best: 'If you ain't first, you're last,'" he said, according to Brian T. Smith of the Houston Chronicle.

The nine-time All-Star noted that he and Harden have been speaking daily since the trade, and believes incorporating his game into Houston's style won't be an issue.

"When you want to win, you'll do whatever it takes," he said. "I know James has that, I know I have that, and I know the guys in the locker room do."

There's one compromise Paul might have to make, though. Considering Houston's run-and-gun style, the veteran guard jokingly conceded he'll never shoot another mid-range shot in his life.

As for more serious topics, Paul remained mum on Houston's interest in Carmelo Anthony, deflecting the question by answering, according to ESPN's Tim MacMahon: "One step at a time, boss. I'm just trying to get through this press conference."

The 32-year-old finished off the day claiming he plans to get both himself and coach D'Antoni grills "for the culture." D'Antoni was under the impression Paul was referring to a smoker used for grilling rather than the mouthpiece accessory common to Houston's music scene.