Chris Paul was on the verge of joining the Los Angeles Lakers to form a superstar combo with the late, great Kobe Bryant in 2011. However, then-league commissioner David Stern opted to deny the deal, and CP3 finally wound up on the Los Angeles Clippers, the Lakers’ crosstown rivals.
To this day, it is evident that Paul, who now plays for the Phoenix Suns, is still bitter about that failed move. The 38-year-old’s biggest what-if is how successful he could have been in Hollywood alongside Kobe:
“Kob is just special,” Paul said. “… Me and Kob was just wired the same. His talent was outrageous but when played against each other, we was about to fight just about every time just because we was both on the same energy. … I hate that that opportunity didn’t get to happen, especially at that point in my career. I always knew how good Kobe was even at catch-and-shoot, but he’s never got the chance to show that part of his game. Had we got a chance to play together, I think it could have been fun.”
Chris Paul also claimed that he and Bryant had already spoken on the phone before the transaction was made official. Both performers appeared to be persuaded that it was a done deal, and there’s no doubt that they were both ecstatic to be playing alongside each other. David Stern, on the other hand, had different plans.
It all worked out for the Lakers, who finally hired Pau Gasol. Bryant’s fourth and fifth championships with the Lakers came from him and Kobe.