Houston Rockets: Why Chris Paul made his choice

LOS ANGELES, CA - APRIL 25: Chris Paul
LOS ANGELES, CA - APRIL 25: Chris Paul /

Nearly two weeks after the trade, Chris Paul finally opened up about his trade to the Houston Rockets.

Now part of the Houston Rockets, Chris Paul became an all-star with the New Orleans Hornets but reached superstar status with the Los Angeles Clippers.

Chris Paul has spent the last six years changing the culture of the Clippers. In 32 years prior to his arrival, the Clippers only made the playoffs four times, advancing past the first round once in 2006.

Following the trade that sent him to Los Angeles, the Clippers quickly became the NBA’s top contenders, possessing the third-best winning percentage over the past six seasons.

However, the nightly highlights that featured Paul throwing lobs to Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan on Sportscenter weren’t enough to keep the nine-time all-star in Hollywood. After years of heartbreak and disappointment, Paul has moved on to the Houston Rockets.

In a recent interview with The Undefeated’s Marc J. Spears, Paul opened up about his time in Los Angeles, and what led him to make that move to Houston, here’s what he had to say:

"For me, first of all, I love the Clippers and the organization. [Owner] Steve Ballmer has been unbelievable. The relationship I made with him over the last few years is something that won’t go anywhere. I’m grateful, thankful and so blessed. I feel like I’m leaving Los Angeles with nothing but love."

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Despite the relationships he had established over the years, Paul said it was time for a change for both he and the organization. Although both sides felt mutual about the decision, moving in from the Clippers wasn’t easy for Paul:

"It’s crazy to look back at the videos of us six years ago. No one ever saw anything like that. I’m going to miss those guys. When you’re together that long, you’re more than teammates."

Paul says the relationships he built with Trevor Ariza and Bobby Brown during their time in New Orleans is what made Houston an attractive destination to continue his career. However, the possibility of playing alongside James Harden is what ultimately led to his decision to join the Rockets.  He explains why here:

"Just how excited he would be about the opportunity. It showed a lot of selflessness. The fact that it’s all about winning. We talked, obviously, he had a great year last year. Everything was about winning games. … He just said he wants to win."

Paul said that the move was nothing personal with the guys in Los Angeles. It was just the Rockets were on the rise while the Clippers seem stuck in neutral.

Next: How Chris Paul and James Harden will co-exist

Whether if it’s in New Orleans, Los Angeles, or Houston, Paul says when his career is over he wants to be remembered as a champion. And at 32-years-old, Paul understands that his window to win a championship is slowly but surely closing in ever faster.

Read Chris Paul’s interview with The Undefeated’s Marc Spears in its entirety here.