The Chris Paul-Rajon Rondo beef goes way back to 2009. They've been disliking each other for 12 years now, and that doesn't seem to be stopping anytime soon. The Phoenix Suns point guard beat the Los Angeles Clippers playmaker in the 2021 Western Conference Finals, marking another edition of this always interesting duel.
The hottest moment of this rivalry came in 2018 when they threw punches during a Los Angeles Lakers-Houston Rockets game at Staples Center. We saw spits, eyes poked, and more during that sequence, but that wasn't the start of this entertaining beef.
In 2009, Rondo took a shot at CP3, telling him he'll never win an NBA ring. It all started after Paul was selected for the 2008 'Redeem Team.' Rondo didn't make the cut even after winning the NBA championship, which didn't sit well with No. 9.
Via Basketball Network:
Brian Windhorst appeared on The Hoopshype Podcast and said:
“The guys really wanted to be on that team. Chris Paul was established as one of the best point guards in the league… but there was some real competition… He beat Rondo out and Rondo got cut, and Rondo was not happy about it because he had just won a championship.”
That takes us to 2009, when Rondo sent a big message to Paul, claiming that CP3 wouldn't win a ring ever.
“I’ve got a ring and you’re never gonna win one.”
Now Rondo rings has two while CP3 finished his first NBA Finals this week. He lost the series against the Milwaukee Bucks, missing his biggest chance to become an NBA champion.
The Point God led a talented Suns team to the Finals, where Giannis Antetokounmpo went off, beating them in six games. It looks like Rondo's prophecy will come to fruition if Paul doesn't get more chances to play in the biggest series of all.
He's had a terrific career where the only thing he's missing is the championship. Still, people don't think he has clear chances to return to the Finals.