Chris Paul rocked the entire NBA more than a decade ago when he decided to leave the New Orleans Hornets to join the Los Angeles Clippers. This blockbuster trade move was mired with controversy as well after CP3 was supposed to join Kobe Bryant and the Los Angeles Lakers, only for the deal to be nixed by then-NBA commissioner David Stern at the last minute. What cannot be denied, however, was that at that time, Chris Paul was considered as Public Enemy No. 1 in New Orleans after he supposedly jumped ship.
Speaking on a recent podcast appearance, Paul dropped a bombshell about his decision to leave the team and the city. Apparently, the main reason why he opted to part ways with the Hornets was because he was led to believe that the franchise was heading out of New Orleans:
“What a lot of people don't know … They was coming to practice and telling us that the team's leaving,” Pual said. “They was telling us that the team was moving to Kansas City, they told us that the team was moving to somewhere in California. Me and David West have been there. … When I left, it wasn't like I'm leaving New Orleans because I want to be out of here. The team was saying that they were moving and going to do this and going in all these other directions. So that's why me and D-West was like, ‘Okay, it's time for us to move on.'”
"What a lot of people don't know… When I left, it wasn't like I'm leaving New Orleans because I want to be out of here. The team was saying that they were moving & going to do this & going in all these other directions."
— Chris Paul
— ClutchPoints (@ClutchPointsApp) June 7, 2023
For one reason or another, the franchise did not leave New Orleans. They did change their name to the Pelicans in 2013, though, and by that time, Chris Paul was long gone.
In spite of his unceremonious exit, Chris Paul admits that the city of New Orleans still holds a special place in his heart — one that he will never forget:
“That city, man, listen, you know and I know, I will never have another bond like I had with that city,” Paul continued. “I got drafted a month before [Hurricaine Katrina.] … The city of New Orleans will forever hold the deepest place in my heart.”