As Kobe Bryant plays the final games in his NBA career, he recalled the time when his Los Angeles Lakers almost acquired star point guard Chris Paul and how it was “unfortunate” that the league had to intervene because of “basketball reasons.”
“When we played together in every All-Star Game, we never f—– around. It was like, ‘Listen, the guys have their fun, but now let’s do what we do.’ I knew how competitive he was, and I knew it would be a perfect fit,” Bryant said to ESPN when asked about what could have been his backcourt team up with Paul.
“We just kind of talked about what we’re going to do, how we’re going to scheme to get things done. Unfortunately, it never happened.”
The deal was supposed to happen in 2011 but the league stopped the trade that would have sent Paul, then with the New Orleans Hornets, to Los Angeles with Kobe. Paul would eventually land with the other Los Angeles team, the Clippers years later.
In the same ESPN article, Kobe Bryant recalled a phone conversation with Paul after they learned about the trade. The Lakers legend stated that they talked about titles and even how many championships they can win together for Los Angeles.
Paul, nicknamed “CP3” was also excited about the deal that would have brought him to L.A.
“It was crazy. It was exciting. We talked about potentially being teammates and all that stuff like that. Then, in the blink of an eye, gone,” Paul added.
Kobe Bryant’s Lakers and Chris Paul’s Clippers meet twice this week as both finish their regular season schedule.