Houston Rockets point guard Chris Paul and his reputation have come into question after Los Angeles Lakers guard Rajon Rondo called him a “horrible teammate” after the two stars got into a crazy fight at Staples Center this past weekend.
Rondo talked about how many want to believe Paul is a “good guy,” but they don’t know the dirty side of Paul that many NBA players are aware of. Rondo also feels that just because Paul is the head of the players’ union, CP3 can get away with things on the court that others can’t.
Former NBA big man Glen “Big Baby” Davis, who played with both Rondo and Paul in his career, knows exactly what Rondo is talking about. Davis has gone on numerous talk shows in the past explaining how Paul wasn’t a good leader with the Los Angeles Clippers, and Big Baby recently reiterated these feelings about the Point God.
Let’s get one thing straight, though. Chris Paul is one of the best point guards in NBA history and will be a first ballot Hall of Famer one day. He’s often called a pitbull due to his small stature but feisty competitiveness on the court. He’s considered a pure point guard in the sense that he’s always looking to get his teammates involved before looking for his own shot.
That being said, it seems from the outside looking in that Paul is a tough player to play with and a dirty guy on the court. He tends to flop a lot, too.
Just ask DeMarcus Cousins about it.
When Cousins was on the Sacramento Kings and Paul was still on the Clippers, the two All-Stars always got into it on the court.
In 2013, Paul blatantly flopped after barely being touched by Cousins during a game in Sacramento:
SB Nation even put together an entire video of Paul’s beef with Boogie (and others):
Cousins isn’t the only player to get into it with CP3.
In 2015, the Clippers were taking on the Portland Trail Blazers. Paul, who has career averages of 4.5 rebounds per game, is always in the paint trying to help his big guys get rebounds. But because he’s only 6-feet tall, sometimes the nine-time All-Star has to use certain tactics to get rebounds.
Blazers center Chris Kaman took exception to one of those tactics by CP3. Paul hit Kaman below the belt while trying to get a rebound, and the big man wasn’t pleased at all. Kaman pushed Paul out of bounds and a minor scuffle ensued. What’s ironic about this situation is that after Kaman shoved Paul, Big Baby, out of all people, started to run after Kaman to defend Paul:
During the Chris Paul–Blake Griffin–DeAndre Jordan era, the Clippers were always one of the best teams in the NBA during the regular season and looked primed to contend for a championship year after year. The Clippers, however, never made it past the second round of the playoffs and often got in their own way with big-time collapses and mental mistakes at the worst moments.
Griffin, who is now with the Detroit Pistons, and Paul were believed to have a tense relationship behind closed doors during their time together in Los Angeles. Paul’s bond with head coach Doc Rivers also began to deteriorate after Rivers decided not to trade for New York Knicks star Carmelo Anthony in a deal which would have included Rivers’ son, guard Austin Rivers.
If Paul doesn’t get his way, he will throw a fit.
Griffin and Paul got chippy in CP3’s return to Los Angeles last season. This was the same game Paul reportedly led his Rockets teammates into the secret tunnel at Staples Center to the Clippers’ locker room:
There’s this perception that Paul is too hard on his teammates when they make a mistake, but doesn’t take accountability for his miscues. Back in April 2017, ESPN columnist Kevin Arnovitz did an extensive feature on the Clippers. Arnovitz spoke to an anonymous Clippers player, and that player shed some light on what it’s really like to play with Paul:
“He just can’t be wrong,” says a member of the Clippers. “I just wish he was wrong more. I wish he would say, ‘My fault.’ “
Former NBA All-Star Kenyon Martin, who played with Paul on the Clippers, says guys in the NBA don’t like CP3 because “people think he’s a politician. People don’t trust politicians.” Paul is close with NBA Commissioner Adam Silver and has good relationships with the front office folks he has played for.
Martin also brought up the point about how Paul is deemed as a selfish player at times because he’ll hunt for assists, meaning he’ll hold the ball for the majority of the shot clock and then pass it at the last second knowing the guy he’s passing it to will have to shoot it.
“He does things within the locker room that some teammates question,” Martin said on The Herd. “Dealing with management and coaches, you know. People deem it as sneaky. They think he has an agenda, like a hidden agenda that doesn’t include the rest of the 14 guys on the team.
“For some guys, it’s deeper than basketball. It’s about relationships. It’s about do I trust you. When it comes across as being selfish at times. Like his assist numbers are excellent. But some people it’s like, that’s the only thing he can do, is getting an assist, or a turnover. So when they get the ball, they’re in a position where they have to do something with it. So the numbers are going to be there.”
Paul has only been to the conference finals once in his career. He was a game away from reaching his first-ever NBA Finals last season with the Rockets, but he suffered a hamstring injury in Game 5 and missed Game 6 and 7. As a result, the Rockets weren’t able to close to the series over the Golden State Warriors.
A lot of guys in the NBA like Chris Paul. His best buddies are LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Carmelo Anthony. However, it seems as if this notion that everyone likes Paul is starting to fade away.