Metta Santiford-Artest Explains How Chris Paul Joining Kobe Bryant and Lakers in 2011 Would Have Impacted the Team

Published 08/13/2021, 6:30 AM EDT


Some NBA superstars have been showcasing unparalleled talent for years together, but unfortunately haven’t lifted a championship yet. Chris Paul is leading that category at the moment. However, could he have done it, had the ‘point god’ been a Laker in 2011?

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The Lakers franchise has been graced with several legends in the past. Chris Paul was quite close to donning the purple-gold jersey in 2011, nonetheless, it wasn’t how the events unraveled.

Jan 1, 2021; Denver, Colorado, USA; Phoenix Suns guard Chris Paul (3) drives as center Deandre Ayton (22) sets a block against Denver Nuggets guard Monte Morris (11) in the second quarter against the Denver Nuggets at Ball Arena. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

Kobe Bryant and Chris Paul: a potential power duo

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Paul was drafted by the New Orleans Hornets in 2005 as the fourth overall pick. After 6 years with the franchise, the star guard entered his free agency in 2011. Hornets entered a three-team deal with the Los Angeles Lakers and Houston Rockets, sending Chris Paul to Lakers and Pau Gasol to Rockets within the deal. This news broke out as a major trade in the league, with fans hyped about a Kobe Bryant and CP3 duo.

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However, then-NBA commissioner David Stern denied the agreement as the league held a majority part of their stakes in the Hornets. The dreams of seeing Chris Paul as a Laker ended right there, so he eventually signed with the LA Clippers and the rest is history.

‘CP3 is amazing’, says former Lakers player

Had Paul been coupled with Kobe in the Staples Center, the possibility of winning more championships comes to debate.

Talking about the same, former Laker player Metta Santiford-Artest told Shannon Sharpe in an interview – “Chris Paul is amazing. I was at the LA Clippers gym with Chris, so I said, ‘I can’t wait to see you tomorrow.’

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Jul 6, 2021; Phoenix, Arizona, USA; Phoenix Suns guard Chris Paul (3) moves the ball against Milwaukee Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo (34) during the first half in game one of the 2021NBA Finals at Phoenix Suns Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

“Yeah we conversing about let’s go, let’s get this ring, and then boom, he’s not there and then I see him in the gym again and he’s like, ‘I guess I just got to kick your a** now.’ (laughs) Chris is incredible, we probably would have won a title for sure.”

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By that time, Kobe Bryant had won 5 NBA championships, the last one being in 2010. And Chris Paul was entering his prime at the time, with immense abilities in his grasp. The likeliness of the Kobe-Chris potential duo would have been fascinating and may have helped Kobe equal his rings with the great Michael Jordan. Well, the what-ifs remain unwrapped tales in the history of the league.

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Pavni Ahuja

504 articles

Pavni Ahuja is an NBA writer at EssentiallySports. Housing a keen interest in sports journalism, she is pursuing an undergraduate Journalism degree from Christ University. Pavni is an ardent fan of the NBA, with prior district-level playing experience in basketball.

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