When Chris Paul first got the call for Team USA, his teammates made him pay, as the rookie he was. He had three years in the league with the New Orleans Hornets, but it was his first time with Team USA; the 2006 team was the first international experience for Paul, who didn’t have the best experience of all in Japan, during the World Cup.
There is one video where you can see all the bullying CP3 received during that tournament. After finishing practice, the players were signing autographs. Paul was carrying his bag but Dwyane Wade asked him to carry his.
“Aye rook, this bag hurting my shoulder,” Wade said.
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CP3 wasn’t having any of that, telling him to ‘get off.’ After that, Carmelo Anthony joined the fun and put his bag on CP3’s shoulders, then Wade did the same as well as Gilbert Arenas. Paul had no more remedy than carry all those bags.
Near the end, a young LeBron James appeared in the video. Arenas tells him something and right when they’re entering the tunnel, James puts his bag on Paul’s shoulder. That’s the price you have to pay as a rookie and he apparently took it like a man.
It looks like he hated every part of his tenure with Team USA in 2006. He finished the competition with a tournament-high 44 assists, helping Team USA win the bronze medal, something that aggravated the crisis they were going through and what led to the redemption team in 2008.