The Chris Paul vetoed trade that would have sent him to the Los Angeles Lakers is one of the biggest sore spots in the minds of many fans.
The idea of Paul and Kobe Bryant together is something fans had been dreaming of and could have led to more championship banners hanging in Staples Center.
Of course, then-NBA commissioner David Stern vetoed that trade for ‘basketball reasons’ and Paul would eventually wind up with the Los Angeles Clippers. But that hasn’t stopped anyone from thinking about that infamous moment in 2011 that would have forever changed the fortunes of a number of teams.
It is something that even Paul himself admits to thinking about from time to time. Paul appeared on Take it There with Taylor Rooks and said that teaming with Bryant would’ve been special, but that he tries not to get caught up in those thoughts:
“It would’ve been special. I’ll talk about it at some point, but me and Kobe had actually got on the phone and talked about this and that and me and my brother were about to get on a flight to fly to L.A. There are times where I’ll be like, ‘Man, this would’ve been…” but I can’t get caught up in that, it all worked out.”
Not only are Paul and Bryant two of the best guards to ever play the game, they are also two of the most fierce competitors in NBA history. Both were known for their relentlessness and desire to win at all costs so they undoubtedly would’ve pushed each other to unreal heights.
In the end, it’s pointless to think about what could have been because it didn’t happen, but it’s impossible not to considering how the careers of both Bryant and Paul went afterwards. Paul was never able to capture that elusive NBA championship while Bryant and the Lakers never came close again during the remainder of his years in the league.
In the wake of the sad deaths of not only Bryant but Stern as well, looking back on this has a different feeling, but fans will always wonder what would’ve happened if that trade went through.