Zach Lowe talks about the potential of a Kobe Bryant, Chris Paul, and Dwight Howard big-3 in 2011 in LA, prior to the trade getting vetoed.
The Los Angeles Lakers were in a strange spot in the early 2010s. After having welcomed in the new decade with a well-earned championship in a grueling 7 game brawl against the Boston Celtics in the 2010 NBA Finals, the Lakers looked primed for yet another Kobe Bryant 3-peat.
This didn’t work out all too well however as the Lakers completely feel apart in the 2011 Playoffs after Kobe suffered what he called, “the worst ankle sprain of my life”. In an effort to preserve the Laker legend’s prime, the purple and gold brigade decided to go all out and mix up their championship roster to bring on MVP candidate, Chris Paul.
That wasn’t the end-all be-all for Kobe Bryant and the Lakers however, as they planned to bring in yet another MVP caliber player in Dwight Howard to surround Kobe with a near perfect pick ‘n’ roll duo of Dwight and CP3.
Zac Lowe highlighted this in the newest edition of the Lowe Post as he confirmed the possibility of this taking place.
“I think the Lakers grand plan was: Chris Paul, Kobe Bryant, and make the same Dwight Howard trade that they ended up making later.” 😯
— NBA Central (@TheNBACentral) April 28, 2021
The Chris Paul trade to the Lakers to team him up with Kobe Bryant gets vetoed.
The trade that would send Chris Paul to the Los Angeles Lakers had actually gone through on December 8th of 2011. Bleacher Report had sent out a trade breakdown for it as well as it highlighted what the LakeShow had given up in order to acquire the Hornets ‘point God’.
The trade was mainly centered around 6MOTY Lamar Odom with the Rockets pitching in Kevin Martin, Goran Dragic, and Luis Scola, in the 3-team trade.
However, every aspect of this trade went topsy-turvy when then Commissioner David Stern entered into the picture and pulled the plug on a potential Chris Paul-Kobe Bryant pairing. The Commissioner had the power to do so because the New Orleans Hornets at the time were owned by the league, as they had a majority stake in it.
Years later, David Stern was asked about cancelling the trade, to which he responded, “I’m going to correct your language; what cancellation? Dell Demps was not authorized to make that trade. Acting on behalf of the owners, we decided not to make it. I was an owner rep. There was nothing to ‘void’ because a trade was never made.”
Aftermath of failed Kobe Bryant superteam.
Days after David Stern had vetoed the New Orleans Hornets, Houston Rockets, and Lakers trade, Chris Paul missed out on teaming up with Kobe Bryant and instead signed with their in-city rivals, the Los Angeles Clippers. This trade effectively gave birth to the Lob-City Clippers.
The Lakers would go on to trade for Dwight Howard and in a last ditch effort to give Kobe a real point guard, signed an aging Steve Nash. This however, never bore any fruit for the purple and gold and Kobe would not win another Playoff game.