LA-LA Stirs What-Ifs, But Not For Paul

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HANG TIME NEW JERSEY – Remember those few hours when Chris Paul was a Los Angeles Laker?

It seems weird, but the proposed trade that would have sent the league’s best point guard to the other L.A. team hardly registers when the Staples Center roommates are set to meet on the floor, which they’ll do for the second time this season on Friday night (10:30 p.m. ET, ESPN).

The non-trade isn’t something that Paul concerns himself with, as Sam Amick of USA Today writes

The what-might-have-beens don’t enter Chris Paul’s mind anymore.

As his Clippers prepare for the latest Los Angeles turf war on Friday night at Staples Center against the Lakers team to which he was almost traded back in December of 2011, the point guard who has transformed one of the worst organizations in professional sports into a legitimate title contender wouldn’t have it any other way.

Cue Taylor Swift

“Never, ever – ever, ever,” he told USA TODAY Sports emphatically on Wednesday night when asked how often he wonders what life with the Lakers might have been like before commissioner David Stern vetoed the deal with New Orleans back then for those infamous “basketball reasons.”

And why would he?

The Clippers are 25-8. The Lakers are 15-16. Barring injury, there’s basically no way that the Lakers will finish ahead of the Clips come April 17.

Sure, the Lakers can get better between now and then. But Paul is of the mind set that so can the Clippers. And he knows that being nine games ahead of the Lakers in early January means nothing.

And as far as the bigger picture (and his impending free agency), Paul is happy with how the Clippers organization has built a contender…

The most remarkable part of all, however, is that the Clippers have managed to convince Paul that they’re serious about winning it all. If he’s going to re-sign as a free agent this summer – and all current indications would point to that happening – that was a must.

“Yeah, no question; no question,” he said when asked that very question about the organization. “That’s what we’re trying to do.

“This summer, when we got this team together (he was convinced). I realized that that’s the mentality we’ve got. You get older, and you realize that these teams don’t’ come by too often. So for me, I’ve got a beautiful family, got great friends and family and stuff like that. I just want to win a championship. That’s all I need.”

There’s a whole maze of “what ifs” regarding that trade that would have sent Paul to the Lakers, Pau Gasol to Houston, and Kevin Martin to New Orleans. And it was just 13 months ago when all that went down. But a lot has happened in those 13 months, and Paul has more than moved on.

71 Comments

  1. Kobe for MVP says:

    Here we go. My 3rd post. Chris Paul is OVERRATED ! He has a team that is 10 deep with the Clippers! Kobe has Dwight; Pau is aging and Steve Nash is 38. If Kobe had a team like the Clippers; with their youth, bench, and talent; he would get his 6th ring! Kobe is averaging 30 plus points a game; and shooting almost 50% from the field. Kobe Bryant is the best player in the league! Chris Paul is a good PG but couldn’t go anywhere with the New Orleans team! The Clippers are a loaded team. Kobe Bryant is the MVP and is chasing Jordan’s legacy! Kobe Bryant is Jordanesque! Plain and simple!!!!!

    • B-Ball4Life says:

      Yeah for sure. What´s wrong with you?
      The Clippers do have a deep team but what about the Lakers and their All-Star starting five?
      They might have the best Roster of all on the paper!!! The Clippers have one thing that is the most important thing overall and the Lakers don´t have it´s called CHEMISTRY!
      Put Kobe on the New Orleans Team and he might average the same numbers he has now or even more but they still wouldn´t make it to the playoffs. Kobe is a great player but his dominance is over.
      Lebron is by far the best all around player right now. He is the most efficient Player by far.
      And Chris Paul overrated??? I don´t know if you have seen him play in New Orleans he was carrying the whole team and now with the Clippers he´s having an MVP season.
      You might not like him but give him the credit for being one of the best players on both ends of the floor and a great leader. If you deny that you really have no clue about Basketball at all. By the way I am not a Clippers fan.

      • Juggernaut584 says:

        The Pau for Kwame Brown trade was not a conspiracy, if I remember correctly, the Grizzlies received Marc Gasol in that trade.

  2. I KNOW MY FACTS! says:

    ONCE AGAIN… those of you saying that Stern screwed up the trade ARE COMPLETELY 110% MORONS!
    Look I dislike Stern as much as most of you for screwing up the game of basketball, but please GET YOUR FACT STRAIGHT!
    IT WAS DAN GILBERT & MARK CUBAN’S IDEA AND THEY WERE LEGIT REASONS! why you ask???? THEY WERE PART OWNERS OF THE HORNETS BACK THEN! Which the fact that Stern allows the league to own the hornets was his screw up I agree! BUT! as owners of the franchise… do they owners not have a say in whether or not they will allow a trade happen even if the GM has okay’ed everything? OF COURSE THEY! and David Stern simply honored that decision by 2 of the 29 owners of the Hornets at the time. SO BE EDUCATED PEOPLE! IF YOU WANT TO BLAME SOMETHING BLAME THE FACT STERN ALLOWED THE NBA TO OWN THE HORNETS!

  3. Kobe for MVP! says:

    Kobe Bryant is the leading scorer in the NBA at age 34. Let me repeat: AGE 34! He is shooting nearly 50% this year; lest you come up with the lame ballhog argument. As far as the Lakers record right now; who does Kobe Bryant have around him????? It’s Kobe Bryant and Dwight Howard. And Dwight is still not healthy. Chris Paul is a good player but he is OVERRATED! He is playing on a team that is ten deep; young and athletic. If Kobe had the same personnel around him, the Lakers would have about 2 losses. Chris Paul didn’t go anywhere on that New Orleans team; because he didn’t have the talent around him. The Lakers have a 38 yr old Steve Nash; Pau is declining; no young players off the bench; with the exception of Hill. Give Kobe Bryant the same opportunity that Chris Paul ran into and it’s 6th championship, hands down. And you all know it. Kobe for MVP; and chasing Jordans legacy! And he will catch up!!!

  4. Eaglos says:

    And the pattern continues to develop

    Kobe shoots, Lakers lose.

  5. Lakers-R-Us says:

    Chris Paul in a Laker uniform would never have worked? And what planet are you from?

  6. Chris Paul in a Lakers Uniform would have never worked. There are not enough basketballs on the court with Kobe playing. Pau Gasol for Josh Smith or Derrick Williams is what the Lakers need to save this disasterous of a season.. Go Clippers! #DariusMiles21

  7. Game Time says:

    Laker fans if you can’t see that Kobe is the problem then you’ll continue to be baffled as to why your superstar team can’t make it over 500. The guy takes over the offense and it disrupts everyone else. No one wants to shoot or can get quality touches. I almost forgot Steve Nash was back last night because I saw Kobe dribbling most of the game. Lakers need Kobe to score, but at the same time he has to do that with fewer attempts and less dribbling. Their defense isn’t that great either, but this is a team that was built for offense and even the coach wants faster scoring. That’s not going to happen with Kobe in iso half the game. I’m not saying the Lakers should get rid of Kobe, that would be ridiculous considering his scoring, but he needs to become a leader or let Nash be it. Otherwise the Lakers won’t even make the playoffs.

  8. LA all Day says:

    As a Lakers I must say I’m not giving up on the greatest franchise ever . 16 x champs,, 5 in the last 10 years is amazing! Too bad we don’t have Phil tho? Phil wil be back next year if d’antonie doesn’t make it to playoffs? Especially now that Jenny and Phil are engaged , dr buss said once phill married his daughter that phill would have 50% ownership. Kobe will not retire until he gets his 6 ring! Heat or other teams may repeat but they will never 3 peat only Lakers know how to do that! Lakers always come back to the top it don’t matter the cost, they need to be broken down in order to rebuild. Clippers is temporary Lakers are will foe ever be the greatest in nba. They are know all over the world! Not just in the U S

    • dattebayo says:

      SAS – DET – SAS – MIA – SAS – BOS – LAL – LAL – DAL – MIA
      Lakers have won twice in the last 10 years :O
      Kobe will have to retire eventually, no matter if he gets #6 or not. Right now I wouldn’t bet money on it though…

  9. Shane says:

    How narrow minded are laker fans honestly? Stern didn’t let cp3 go to lakers- conspiracy. Why would a team take gasol for 4 years n what he is payed n nota 20-10 guy EVER. N don’t say in a different situation he would’ve been. Lakers getting gasol from grizzlies years ago- conspiracy. I’ve been a clipper since 92-93 with mark Jackson Danny manning Ron harper. I’ve lived dark days. Then elation brand daruis miles Lamar odom (round one) quinton Richardson I was happy again. But the team now is worth the money. The wait n the hype. Lakers are upset cause they ain’t shining. Don’t fire your coach 5 games in. Let your centre get healthy first. Recruit better bench players aka get rid of Ron artest. To slow n can’t defend like he use to. N as Kobe said the other day “too damn old” not correct words but you get me. Ramon sessions should’ve stayed. Cost wise n younger nd very solid. Basically welcome to normality lakers it doesn’t like you make out.
    P.s. n don’t you dare bring the great one (#23) into the the convo. He was dominate mentally. Physically n a leader straight up.

  10. dattebayo says:

    The Battle for Los Angeles was entertaining for sure, but it also revealed both teams weaknesses.

    The Clippers are a poor half court team and it’s either on the coach, because there is no good system, or it’s on CP3 for not running it. How they could give up a 19 point lead to the Lakers and almost let them come back to win the game is astounding. It also shows how little you can rely on Griffin when you really need to score.

    The Lakers on the other hand have several issues. Howard is a great defensive presence, but he will have to pick his spots to challenge and foul, because they need him down the stretch in every game. Once he and Nash are on the same page on offense, he will average 20+ and 15 with ease (as long as he stays out of foul trouble). Pau needs to man up, plain and simple. You can’t let BG drive by you and give him dunks. You have to entice him to shoot jumpers and as soon as he beats you with the drive you have to foul him hard. Kobe is a great scorer, but he can’t defend guys like CP3 or RWB anymore. They abuse him on defense and show him how much speed he has lost to father time on almost every play. Steve Nash is not even a good defender and Artest has the same problems Kobe has on defense, so they will really have to find somebody else that can stay in late in games and defend.

  11. JimD54 says:

    The Lakers are 15 and 17 and are still getting 30+ free throws a game, they must really be sorry this year……

  12. Man cp3 was crossing up Kobe with 2 clutch shots at the end, love watching lakers lose as a heat fan

  13. Lol 15-17 laughing at all the laker fans that said they were going to win it all this yr, HEAT REPEAT!

  14. Lakers-R-Us says:

    If the Clipper trade was so good for the Hornets, why are they 7-25 right now?

    • Hm says:

      Trading a player like Chris Paul is never good for a team, but the trade was by far better than the Lakers trade. It is unfortunate that Gordon hasn’t played much though.

  15. #1CP3FAN says:

    I’ve never seen soo many HATERS in my life!! Lakers fans should worry about building chemistry, staying healthy and trying to stay above .500. The Warriors are #2 in the pacific division and all Lakers fans can do is talk about the Clippers, that’s almost ten games ahead. If CP3 would have went to Lakers I think the results would of been different. Nash is one of the greatest point guards to ever play the game but his defense is not great. Everyone says Dwight needs to do more. He is coming off back surgery, give that man time to get 100%. We will just have to wait as the season shortens to see if the Lakers are contenders or not because as of right now you guys are looking pretty bad over there! Lol

  16. Oden says:

    CP3 takes the game-clincher via crossover and step-back jumper in front of Kobe. That my friend is a real must see. :D

  17. IcemanJay says:

    Great move by CP3 crossing KB and sticking a J on his face. Oh he did it twice.

  18. xpact says:

    the fact that lakers already have an awesome lineup there fans still complain.. u should look deeper ur loosing bcoz of kobe he ivolve into a ball hugger not a leader nor a team player but full of himself.. no nid to compare to mj.. clips are great coz they play as a team not an individual

  19. specialfriedrice says:

    Why bring up this old news…when is some focus gona be put on the Lakers terrible season…a team rated by most at the start of the season to push for the Bulls 72-10 record…though apprently the way the media choses to work is to bash sucsessful teams…then throw in a article about how great of season Kobe is having and that his 4th last team in the conference should still get him MVP votes…Kobes selfish play has clearly been the thorn in the Lakers side…as proven over the past couple of seasons imparticularly the playoffs…a place that the Lakers WILL NOT be at the end of this season…hence would make a much better article to write and READ…LAKERS WILL NOT MAKE PLAYOFFS THIS SEASON…discuss

  20. RSS vs RSS says:

    Kobe posterizes CP3 now that my friend is a must see lol

  21. purpngold says:

    Lakers fans dont hate on the Clippers. Everyone in the world knows that the team that represents LA is the Lakers. The team that consistently brings championship trophys to the city is the Lakers. When you think of LA, the first sports team that comes to mind is the Lakers. Lakers have celebrated more through the streets of LA than any other team. We dont hate on the Clippers, we just dont quite aknowledge them, thats all.

  22. Lakers#1 says:

    Clipper fans enjoy being the best team in LA, because it won’t last very long!

    • MkeyD says:

      I hope not, I would like to see them have their own stadium and city. This sharing a stadium thing is lame. And how can you LA fans hate on the Clips? Their owner sure, but not the players or the team.

  23. Karlo Garcia says:

    If David Stern did not own the Hornets back then 2011 , I have no doubt CP3 trade 2 the Lakers would have been accomplished.

  24. Victor small says:

    Last I check u dnt win champions in jan they r ok need help on the free throw line an help defense but 4 now they not done nothing an I like the team they put to gather

  25. if this had happened the lakers would have paul, kb24 and D12 I dont know if thats better than what they have now…who knows

  26. Saxmanager says:

    I’m so tired of these ill informed Laker fans complaining that the Lakers got screwed by Stern. The NBA was the acting owners of the the Hornets since they hadn’t found a buyer, so Stern was doing what was in the best, long term interests of the Hornets. The Clipper deal for CP3 was BY FAR better for the Hornets than the Laker deal. Stop complaining!

  27. yrrej says:

    If Cp3 went to the Lakers they still have the same problem, because kobe doesn’t want anybody who can play better than him, he will still a ballhog, look at their first team now they are all superstar but still kobe is the one shooting the ball the rest are just to complete the line up. lf they will trade kobe they will be good.

  28. All City says:

    Everyone keeps saying the Toe Nail Clippers are deep!

    Their team is full of gaurds and once they loose one of their starting bigs, then what? Blake and DeAndre are great at dunking but thats where the ball drops. To go deep in the playoffs they’ll will have to shoot better than 60% from the field to stand a chance!

    But then again where talking about the Toe Nail Clippings! They’ll shoot themselves in the foot!! Team they have now will be broken up next year as there is already a high demand for 1 n 2 gaurds throughout the league. They wont be able to match every offer that comes in.

    Enjoy it while it last*

    • Hm says:

      Seems like you’re really hoping for that long shot of the current Clippers team completely breaking up. Oh, the fear they induce in their opponents’ fans. What a joy to watch.

  29. McFly says:

    Of course it comes back to the kobe vs mj conversation. Team full of all stars? Ron Artest-garbage, D12-doesnt play to his potential considering he’s “the most dominant big man in the game”. Gasol-softer than a bag of kittens. And Jamison? how many times has he been an all star? You make it sound like the spurs and heat havent had a team with multiple all stars. or the suns a few years ago. And FYI, the Clippers have a few all stars of their own: CP3, Chauncey, Blake, Odom, Grant Hill, and Butler. Not to mention the fact that had stern not vetoed the deal we would have lost Gasol and Odom and possibly NOT have gotten Howard anyway. So, that part of your argument is invalid

  30. bbb says:

    He would have live under Kobe’s shadow as above average PG.

  31. Jacques Durceille says:

    I am excited for this new La vs La roomate series though. It makes for interesting talk. New york has a subway series, LA has a roomate series. Great times to watch basketball folks after the debacle of Jordan’s retirement. Things are finally getting interesting again.

  32. Jacques Durceille says:

    It is better he did not go to the lakers. I have a hatred for the new york yankees of the nba, buying everyone out and putting all the talent on 1 team. David Stern vetoed the trade for selfish corrupt reasons, but a good result came out. A moribund franchise was reawakened.

    Clippers are a good team not a great team. I have not seen anything that tells me they are great. I know they will make playoffs and even get to the second round. They are not great like the spurs who have been great for over a decade. It is too soon to speak on the clippers but let us witness their steady rise to what will hopefully be a great team.

    Lakers on the other hand is just an allstar team. Seriously they have so many current and former all stars that it is disgusting. Gasol, nash, howard, kobe, artest, jamison? Are you kidding me. Even if kobe would win his 6th ring he would always be a lesser ward to Jordan for these reasons.

    • Average Joe says:

      Amen, brother.

      • I could’nt agree more. These Laker Fans keep talking about the 16 championships they have and I just say “let me know when you can go back in time” ROFL. Besides, 6 of those Rings were before the Merger and Prime time was a Joke and made out like a bandit after Boston lost Len Bias in 86′. Other then the Triangle Offense made by Tex Winters and implimented by Phil Jackson gathering 5 Rings in his time there. This franchise is the farthest thing from developing a solid program anywhere in the future. They have always bought players or had things go there way.(Only Team in NBA history to Win a championship and land the 1st overall pick the following season, “Jame Worthy”) I can not wait to see this franchise in the toilet! There is No one to carry the3 torch from Kobe and Dwight Howard is not going to carry this team anywhere. (He only made the finals that year because KG was lost for the playoffs with Knee surgery) Can you say another Nick Van Exel era hahaha

    • LakersWillWin says:

      Say what you will, but this LA Vs LA thing is really good for the game. Brooklyn Vs Knicks they have 2 seperate arena’s. Out here, we are in 1 arena. I have never had so much fun at a basketball game with 50/50 fans. So great.

  33. CP3toStayinLA says:

    The Clips are just as good if not better than OKC and The Spurs!

  34. […] must contend with time and the fundamentals of physics. First, the facts. The Lakers (15-16 …LA-LA Stirs What-Ifs, But Not For PaulNBA.com (blog)NBA point spreads and betting guide — Lakers and Clippers collideSportingNews.comNBA […]

  35. Rickson says:

    Clippers don’t mess around now they are really deep team now

  36. Big Al says:

    Chris Paul instantly made the Clippers 3x better, but he would have had his first ring if Stern didn’t screw things around.

  37. Kobnot says:

    Clips are SERIOUS

    • kaydee says:

      that they are but do you see them winning a 7 game playoff series against a team like OKC or the Spurs??? i dont … be my guest argue that they have the talent cause that they do but the lack expierence something that Chancey can bring but he is hurt, L.O. can bring but he doesnt get the playing time, Grant Hill wait who the hell is Grant Hill he hasnt been good since his shoes came out in 99… the Spurs will slow them down and OKC will run with them…

      • bounty hunter says:

        why not ? they might struggle with OKC but the spurs dropped a 2-0 lead to OKC and lost to memphis(8) in the first round the year b4. right now it looks like OKC v Clippers for the west but theres a long way to go

  38. sbfern805 says:

    and tell me what other team was offering the Hornets a better deal? Odom was the 6th man of the year and Rockets were giving them young players and picks on a deep draft.

    • Game Time says:

      Key word for Odom; was. Hornets dodged a bullet. Odom was already sulking around before the trade and it was clear he would be a problem. Now they still haven’t benefited from the Clippers trade with Gordon, but he’s young and they have some time with him. Odom is clearly on his last leg this season.

    • TTKIN says:

      Oh you didnt hear about the trade that actually happened that was WAY better? Eric gordon and Aminu?

      I mean cmon, of course this trade was better. gordon has played all of 9 games since becoming a Pelican and the only people hwo know Aminu’s name only know it because of the Olympics.

      …Im being completely sarcastic if u cant tell haha. I totally think Stern screwed the whole thing up. They wouldve been better off with the trade that was vetoed.

      gordon will never be the player he could be with that franchise cuz he simply doesnt want to play for them. and aminu is nothing but a role player.

      The trade vetoed would have given the Pelicans Odom, Martin, Dragic and Scola. Those are 4 starters capable of being All-Stars. But then again, if Stern let this trade go through, he wouldnt have been able to rig the draft so that NO got Anthony Davis.

  39. James says:

    The Clippers enjoy having a good team this season. But just like many championship teams, they’ll break up next year bc every player want a raise and it gets too expensive. So this is their one shot to make the Finals…

    • TrueNBAFan says:

      Cause that’s what happened to the Lakers, Celtics, Spurs, Heat, Bulls and every other multiple title holding team huh? lol

      • James says:

        Those teams dont have the Clippers’ owner. Unless the owner is willing the spend, the team will not remain together. The Clippers owner didnt want to spend until this year, but next year gets more expensive, maybe he will continue, maybe not…I guarantee you some of the players will get traded and they wont get even in return. The Clippers are good as they are, any less talent will not get them to the Finals

    • Tyrone says:

      Seriously of all the difference makers on that team only Billups’ contract expires after this season and the other players whose contracts expire any time soon like butler and crawford are old and probably want that ring before being forced into retirement. Lastly Blake and Jordan are signed for what.. most of their adult lives to the clippers and Paul already made it clear that he wants to come back to LAC. Which debatably leaves Grant Hill, but he hasn’t played a game this season. So tell me exactly how are the clippers going to run into financial difficulties facilitating a conteding team next season??

    • lob city says:

      Donald sterling wants a championship because hes getting old. hes willing to spend the money. He is a multimilliona like ire (or billionaire). He owns the parking lots around staples center. I think the clipps will be like this for the next 2 seasons at least.

  40. Hm says:

    In before Lakers fans who whine about Stern and corruption. They won’t talk about how it really was a bad trade for the Hornets though.

    • Jordan says:

      haha ya cuz the trade they ended up with was completely fair… right.

      • Hm says:

        Yes, because everybody could’ve foreseen that Gordon would play as little as he has, right? To imply that the second trade was as bad as the Lakers one is ridiculous.

      • Ya cause Kwami Brown for Pau Gasol was a totally fair trade for Memphis 6 years ago. SMH with some of the things Lakers Fans bring up

    • uoykcuf says:

      and look what they got afterwards! D12 and nash! i say win win.

      • McFly says:

        Hopefully they’ll get back on track with Nash in and D12 starts playing like he’s the best center in the league

    • SRFS says:

      Laker fan’s know better then to cry corruption… They are seriously one of the most fortunate franchises and organizations since the beginning of the NBA. Orlando knows a thing or two about spoon feeding laker nation, I don’t remember the last season the Lakers had a squad that potentially couldn’t have made it to the playoffs…

    • SoulChorea says:

      “Bad” trades happen all the time, and have happened since then. How was this any different? Oh wait, the conflict-of-interest, right…

    • Crazygirl992 says:

      lol I’m sorta glad this trade didn’t happen too but for a very different reason, if this happened.. then houston wouldn’t have had james harden