Chris Paul's career has been absolutely spectacular so far. The 'Point God' has been in the NBA for 15 years now and has played at a high level for every season that he has been fit. While he has not won an NBA championship in his career, Paul has established himself as one of the greatest point guards of all time.
Paul's career could have taken a very different turn in 2011. The New Orleans Hornets (now Pelicans) agreed to a trade with the Los Angeles Lakers that would send CP3 to LA, and pair him with Kobe Bryant, forming what could have been one of the most imposing duos in NBA history.
But the trade was vetoed by NBA commissioner David Stern, as the league had control over the franchise, and felt that the package sent by the Lakers was not enough for what the Hornets would be giving up. The deal would fall apart, and Kobe and CP3 would never play with each other other than in All-Star games.
Chris Paul recently spoke with Taylor Rooks for an interview. During the interview, Rooks asked whether Paul wonders about what could have been if he had joined the Lakers in 2011. CP3 said that losing Kobe and David Stern in recent years, who played a pivotal role in the deal, has made him look back.
He also revealed that he and Kobe Bryant spoke before the deal in order to plan how they would play together when he joined. He and his brother were excited about the move, but it did fall apart. Paul feels that it would have been a special experience to have played with Kobe.
"It’s even crazier to think about it now, given the situation of the past few months, losing Kobe and David Stern. Man it would've been special. You know I'll talk about it at some point, but me and Kobe had actually got on the phone and talked about, you know, this and that, and me and my brother was about to get on a flight to fly to LA… There are times where I’ll be like ‘Man, this would have been..’ but I can’t get caught up in that, it all worked out."
Many fans wonder how CP3 and Kobe would have fared together. They would have formed one of the greatest backcourts of all time. Paul did help form one of the greatest backcourts of all time when he rejected a trade to Golden State which would have sent Steph Curry and Klay Thompson to New Orleans.
Paul would eventually find his way to LA, but it would be to play for the Clippers. Paul would end up leading the Clippers' to their most successful run in the NBA until 2021, alongside DeAndre Jordan and Blake Griffin, as the trio ushered in the 'Lob City' era for the Clippers.