NBA

Chris Paul gambles on his career by taking Houston Rockets challenge

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Chris Paul was the leader of the Los Angeles Clippers for six years and was offered a five-year, $205 million deal to see out the remainder of his career with the franchise.

But the veteran point guard made a huge decision in the offseason as he turned down the mega offer in search of winning his first championship.

With multiple options on the table, he decided that his best chance of success was with the Houston Rockets.

With a player option on his existing deal with the Clippers, Paul opted into his contract and allowed the team to recoup several players in return for his trade to Houston.

CP3 has been labelled as crazy by some who believe he's made a huge mistake by turning down the vast sum of money offered to him by Clippers owner Steve Ballmer.

But anybody who knows the 32-year-old will always mention just how competitive he is and how winning is the most important thing to him.

Winning

The nine-time All-Star is determined to add the Larry O'Brien trophy to his list of accomplishments before he retires and he felt that teaming up with James Harden would offer him the best chance to do that.

He simply lost confidence in the Clippers organisation and the team they had assembled around him.

In a special documentary with ESPN which aired this week, he revealed that the culture within the team was not right for him.

“A lot of people see the wins and losses, but it’s the culture of our team,” Paul said. “If you aren’t trying to contend with the Warriors, then what are you doing? You know what I mean? … If you aren’t trying to contend with them, then what are you doing?”

He expects it to be different in Houston and already got a glimpse of what the team can produce as they stunned the Golden State Warriors in the season opener at Oracle Arena.

In contrast, Paul was part of a Clippers team who are in the midst of a 10-game losing streak against the reigning champions.

In just one game he has seen that his new teammates can contend with the men from the Bay Area.

The All-NBA guard is also pleased to be able to play off the ball more and not dictate the team's offence on every possession like he was doing in Los Angeles.

Harden will free him up to benefit from open shots and vice versa.

"It's unbelievable," Harden said, per ESPN's Jackie MacMullan. "I don't have to dribble, dribble, dribble. I can shoot it. Right now. Because I'm wide open. Catch and shoot. I haven't done that in five years."

Gamble

But unfortunately for 'the Beard' and CP, that's exactly what he'll have to do for possibly the next month as Paul has started the season with a knee injury.

He suffered the problem after clashing knees with Memphis Grizzlies point guard Mario Chalmers in pre-season.

At his age, injuries will take its toll and those who questioned his decision to turn down the massive offer to stay in Los Angeles have come out in full force again.

One of those is Fox Sports' experienced NBA reporter Chris Broussard.

He believes the floor general "made a huge mistake" as he "may not get the max next year" from any team.

Health issues will always diminish a star's chances of getting a big contract especially as they wind down towards the end of their careers.

There's no doubt the 12-year man is still one of the best players in his position and is considered as one of, if not the best, leader in the league.

But he has chosen to take a big gamble on his career by turning down the mega bucks in L.A. in pursuit of a ring.

His ambition should be applauded but it will take something special to dethrone the Warriors. CP3 and Harden may just be the right combination to pull it off.

Topics:
Southwest Division
Western Conference
NBA
Chris Paul
L.A. Clippers
Pacific Division
Houston Rockets
James Harden

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