Vince Carter says that he believes Kobe Bryant would’ve had 6 championships or more if Chris Paul would’ve been traded to the Lakers in 2011.
Kobe Bryant and the Los Angeles Lakers ushered in the new decade with a championship in 2010 by besting the Boston Celtics in a grueling 7 game Finals series. On the verge of trying the 3-peat, just as they did when bringing in the previous decade, the Lakers fell short as Kobe suffered the “worst ankle sprain” of his life, as he would put it, in the 2011 Playoffs.
The Mavericks would make short work of the shorthanded Lakers, and in an effort to help capitalize on Bryant’s prime, looked to surround him with superstar. The 5x champ had stated profusely that he wanted to catch the ‘ghost in Chicago’ in the number of championships won.
The purple and gold tried to do just that by trading for Chris Paul in a blockbuster 3-team trade involving the New Orleans Hornets and the Houston Rockets, on December 8th, 2011. However, as the NBA had a majority stake in the Hornets, Commissioner David Stern vetoed the trade, as he didn’t find this trade to be in the best interest of Hornets.
Chris Paul would miss out on the chance to play alongside Kobe Bryant and would instead, sign with another Los Angeles team, in the form of the Clippers.
Vince Carter believes the Lakers and Kobe Bryant would’ve won a ring with Chris Paul at the helm.
In the near 15 years Kobe Bryant had been in the league, the best point guard he had ever played with was Derek Fisher. Though he did have Gary Payton and Steve Nash manning the 1, both had reached the tail ends of their careers at that point.
So to give perhaps the greatest offensive player a point guard like Chris Paul while both were still in their prime would have the potential to be one the greatest one-two punches in the history of the league. Vince Carter took to the Jump to say he certainly believes so.
“If P (Chris Paul) goes there, first of all I was like wow, how are they able to do that? That would be a cheat code with Kobe and CP3 together. If that were to happen, Kobe would have his sixth ring, the Lakers would add another ring to their dynasty, CP3 will definitely have a ring and he would still be playing with the Lakers right now.”
There’s no doubt that a CP3 to the Lakers move in 2011 would’ve altered the course of history in the NBA, and the landscape of the league would be completely different when compared to what it is now.
There would be no Lob-City Clippers, and since a Kobe Bryant-Chris Paul tandem is primed for a championship, the latter would most probably not request for a trade, which would mean James Harden would not team up with him on the Rockets. The legacies of both superstars would change for the better as they would move into the upper-most echelon of NBA superstars, something which Kobe is already a part of