Chris Paul is one of the best points in NBA history.
The future Hall of Famer is fresh of off an appearance in the NBA Finals where a team that he led fell to two-time MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo’s Milwaukee Bucks, and he’s still widely regarded one of the best players in the game even at a ripe age of 36.
However, before his time with the Phoenix Suns, Paul had a legitimate chance to reach the Finals for the first time in his career prior to 2021. Having been traded to the Houston Rockets in 2017, Paul became teammates with another future Hall of Famer in superstar guard James Harden. Nonetheless, despite the two-headed monster the two appeared to be on paper and could be between the lines of the basketball court, the Rockets were unable to capitalize on the potential of the duo.
Paul, who appeared on the No Chill Podcast with Gilbert Arenas, opened up about his time with the Rockets and the reasons why he felt they weren’t ale to achieve penultimate success:
“And the thing that frustrated me the most was that first year, I wasn’t healthy. It’s crazy. Them years in Houston are kind of a blur, to a certain extent, because there was so much going on at the time. But dang, we was good. We was real good.”
Paul also spoke up about playing alongside Harden:
“And James, I still say it, can’t nobody score the ball as he can. It’s crazy, man…I wouldn’t trade any experience or whatnot, but I wish we would’ve had some of those conversations. But most of all, I wish I would’ve been able to stay healthy.”
Paul has battled with injuries throughout most of his storied 16-year career. That being said, during his time in Houston, he was plagued by injuries; he would sustain an injury in both of the Rockets’ playoff runs that he was a part of.
This includes a Western Conference Finals series against the Golden State Warriors in 2018; one that the Rockets led 3-2 at one point.
He went on to miss the final two games due to a nagging hamstring injury, which many fans believed cost Paul and the Rockets a trip to the NBA Finals, as Houston fell in both contests.
Paul would eventually be traded to the Oklahoma City Thunder in the 2019 offseason, as his strained relationship with Harden fell under the microscope.