Los Angeles Lakers Trade News & Rumors: Kobe Bryant Thinks Vetoed Trade for Chris Paul Costs Him More Rings
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NBA superstar Kobe Bryant and Chris Paul almost became teammates in 2011 but the league vetoed the blockbuster trade involving the Los Angeles Lakers, New Orleans Hornets and Houston Rockets. (Photo : Getty)
Los Angeles Lakers superstar Kobe Bryant has won five titles in his storied NBA career, but the superstar thinks he could have won more championships if the league allowed the trade for Chris Paul in 2011.
The Lakers had a deal in place to acquire Chris Paul in a trade that also involved Pau Gasol but the league vetoed the deal for basketball reasons. In turn, Paul stayed with the New Orleans Hornets but eventually moved to Los Angeles — but with the Clippers, not the Lakers.
Bryant said that the Lakers could have been a serious title contender over the past several seasons had the NBA approved the trade.
“Things would’ve been very, very, very different around here, with two of the most competitive people the league has ever seen,” Bryant told ESPN.
The former Most Valuable Player revealed that he has already reached out to Paul when he was informed that the Lakers had a deal in place to acquire the superstar point guard. Bryant admitted that they were already talking about winning championships during their conversation before the trade was called off.
“You know me. My dream isn’t to win games,” Bryant said. “It’s like, ‘How many of these titles are we going to win [together]?’ Because if we don’t win, we’re a failure.”
Paul also confirmed the conversation with Bryant, saying that he was excited about the deal because he wanted to play with the Lakers superstar, who is known as one of the most competitive players in the league.
“I played in a lot of All-Star Games with Kobe. I don’t know how many, but I remember one of them, we said, ‘As long as we’re both on the same team playing this game, we’re not going to lose,’ just because we both know how competitive we are,” Paul said of Bryant’s competitiveness.
After the botched deal before the 2011-12 season that also involved the Houston Rockets, the Lakers had two early playoff exits in the next two years and have not made the postseason in the last three season, including this year.
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