For the sports fans browsing the newsstands these days, you may recognize a familiar face on the cover of GQ. Chris Paul just did an interview with the magazine where he talks mostly about his family, but a little about basketball too.
The biggest nugget in the article is when CP3 talks about the “trade that wasn’t” with the Los Angeles Lakers that was vetoed by NBA commissioner David Stern. Paul could have ended up in a Laker uniform, but he ended up playing for the other L.A. team, which Paul says he actually preferred.
"They had the better pieces," he says, "and winning with the Clippers would be legendary."
The pieces part is debatable. You can probably make a case for either team, and if the tables had been turned, he’d probably be saying the same thing about the Lakers right now.
He is right about the legendary part though. The Clippers are a historically bad franchise. If Paul was going to be the guy to finally turn it around for them and get them a championship, he’d be worshipped by Clipper fans for life. Winning with the Lakers just gets you an honorable mention with guys like Magic Johnson and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. Vaulting the Clippers to a top-tier team would literally make Chris Paul a legend.
He hasn’t gotten there yet. He still has a lot of work to do and ironically, the Lakers actually picked up some “pieces” in this offseason that make them one of the top two contenders in the Western Conference. The Clippers are on the right track and they’re going to be competitive, especially with Paul at the helm, but there’s still a ways to go.
Who knows if the Clippers will finally make it to the NBA Finals during Chris Paul’s tenure? The current trend is for the NBA to be so top heavy, that it’s become a juggernaut’s league. But even if CP3 can’t take the team that far, he’s already helped turn around a franchise that’s been in the gutter for a long time.