As an elite point guard, Chris Paul has made a name for himself in the basketball world. Paul was originally selected by the then-New Orleans Hornets (now Pelicans) with the fourth overall pick in the first round of the 2005 NBA Draft. He played college basketball at Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, from 2003 to 2005.
Obviously, Paul began his NBA career with the Hornets, where he played most of the games in the 2005-06 season in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, due to the severe damage caused by Hurricane Katrina. He finished that season on a high note, leading all rookies in points, assists, steals, and double-doubles. He also became the second rookie in league history to lead in total steals. His fame increased in 2007. He played with the Hornets until 2011.
As a result of a three-team trade, Paul joined the Los Angeles Clippers, also known as the other L.A. team, on December 8, 2011. His arrival to L.A. rejuvenated the Clippers' franchise, who developed a positive reputation for their fast-paced offense and magnificent alley-oop dunks. He played for the Clippers until 2017.
Paul was traded to the Houston Rockets on June 28, 2017, in exchange for Patrick Beverley, Sam Dekker, Montrezl Harrell, Darrun Hilliard, DeAndre Liggins, Lou Williams, Kyle Wiltjer, a future first-round pick, and cash considerations. We don't know how his career will pan out, but we're aware that he's a topic of discussion between both overly obsessed fans and trash-talking haters.
Here are eight people who hate Paul and seven who love him.
15 Hates Him: Jason Terry
As you may already know, Milwaukee Bucks guard Jason Terry talks too much sometimes. Terry was selected by the Atlanta Hawks with the 10th overall pick in the first round of the 1999 NBA Draft. It's clear he played with the Hawks, but he also played for the Dallas Mavericks, Boston Celtics, Brooklyn Nets, and Houston Rockets, and currently plays for the Milwaukee Bucks. His age apparently isn't stopping his career...or making him shut up.
In 2015, Terry talked about his hatred towards Paul and the entire Clippers team. He didn't go in-depth, but he did explain his hatred, saying, "It's about personnel, personality and just their demeanor, how they carry themselves...But it's a healthy hate." There are so many reasons as to why other players hate on Paul, but we're pretty sure that one of those reasons is Paul flops too much...or his team constantly whines about the officiating.
14 Loves Him: LeBron James
This may seem like an unusual friendship because Paul is a Rocket and a former Clipper and LeBron James is...well, a Cavalier who has won the 2016 NBA Finals with one of the most hated teams in basketball.
According to nola.com, there's rarely a bond in professional sports as tight as the one the three NBA stars hold. They play on opposing teams, but they text and/or talk to each other almost every day. They've pretty much grown up with each other. Also, Paul's wife, Jada, is best friends with James' wife, Savannah Brinson. In addition, Paul first met Anthony because Anthony's former teammate, Justin Gray, was his roommate at Wake Forest University.
Not only that, the trio also help each other out with charity and volunteer opportunities when they can. They're most definitely examples of good Samaritans.
"There’s definitely a close bond that we have,"’ James told nola.com. "We have a lot in common. Our friendship has grown over the years. We respect what we do on the court, but it goes beyond that."
13 Hates Him: Doc Rivers
Paul is a talented guard, but his departure from the Clippers wasn't too much of a loss for current head coach Doc Rivers and apparently Paul hated Rivers too.
The Clippers pulled off one of the biggest blockbuster trades in the NBA this summer when they dealt Paul to the Rockets. However, Rivers told SB Nation that there were a lot of reasons why Paul wanted out of Los Angeles. He said, "I think he was tired of hearing my voice." This particular reason makes perfect sense. There was a reason Rivers fired back at Paul after he questioned the Clippers' culture now that he's gone. Paul has also feuded with Rivers on a plethora of other matters ranging from a potential Carmelo Anthony-Clippers trade and Rivers' alleged preferential treatment of Austin Rivers. Whatever Rivers' reasons may be (or Paul's reasons, for that matter), they just didn't seem to get along with each other.
12 Loves Him: James Harden
With Paul joining James Harden, the Rockets believe they've closed the gap on the Warriors. Rockets GM Daryl Morey told ESPN.com, "They are not unbeatable...There have been bigger upsets in sports history. We are going to keep improving our roster." Morey added, "We are used to long odds. If Golden State makes the odds longer, we might up our risk profile and get even more aggressive. We have something up our sleeve."
That might be the case after all. Morey acquired Paul in a sign-and-trade before July's free agency period kicked off. So far, Paul and Harden have combined their leadership skills on the court. They've become friends off the court too. They may not agree (or understand) each other all the time, but Harden told the Houston Chronicle, "There's different types of leaders...I've always been a leader with my work ethic, just becoming more comfortable communicating and being a vocal leader, and knowing the guys you're leading, knowing what's around you. Then, it's just going out of my way a lot more than I always had. It's one thing to show the person, but it's also going out there making sure the person feels they're loved, that they feel welcome at all times."
11 Hates Him: Blake Griffin
Blake Griffin is another star player on the Clippers team. The only difference is Griffin's still with the team, while Paul left over the summer. Yet, Griffin's hate towards Paul is certainly something else.
The Clippers were a team with a lack of identity and alleged personality issues. Paul is a jerk. Rivers' a daddy's boy. And Griffin hates Paul because Paul's a jerk. Then the Clippers beat the Spurs in 2015, tying up the postseason series, and it made Fox Sports wonder if maybe we overreacted to the Griffin-Paul relationship because a sour relationship between two players doesn't automatically mean the team's going to get hurt in the long run.
Many people consider Griffin to be softer than a Charmin toilet paper roll, but he apparently doesn't think Paul is all that and a bag of chips. Whether or not you think the Griffin-Paul relationship is important, Griffin was surprisingly the tough guy this time around.
10 Loves Him: Floyd Mayweather Jr.
Floyd Mayweather Jr. has a lot of famous friends and it appears that Paul is one of them.
Paul had to be feeling pretty good early in the 2015-16 NBA season. At the time, his Clippers jumped out to a 4-0 start to start the season. Also, Griffin was ranked fourth in scoring and DeAndre Jordan was ranked second in rebounding, while Paul was ranked third in assists. After last season's exhausting first-round series against the Spurs, the entire team knew all too well about the impact playoff positioning makes in the Western Conference, so they can’t afford to play back-and-forth games.
But that didn't mean Paul and the Clippers couldn't take a break every now and then to soak in their high-profile surroundings. This is one of the perks to being an NBA star in a major city like Los Angeles. That being said, some A-list celebrities show up to games and sit in the court side seats to seize the opportunity to engage in the latest buzz.
Before the Clippers hosted the Suns at Staples Center, TMZ caught Paul socializing with retired boxing champ Floyd Mayweather Jr. and comedian Kevin Hart, who was there with his son Hendrix.
9 Hates Him: DeAndre Jordan
DeAndre Jordan is another one of Paul's former teammates on the Clippers that doesn't seem to have a decent relationship with the star point guard. Did Jordan simply become tired of Paul's antics?
In 2015, Jordan wanted to join the Mavericks on a long-term deal because the team reportedly impressed Jordan by promising a more dominant role on offense as Mavs owner Mark Cuban believed the new Mavs center was comparable to Hall of Famer Shaquille O'Neal. Jordan was certainly moved by the Mavs' comparison, but his crummy relationship with Paul might've also contributed to his temptation to leave L.A.
Kevin Arnovitz of ESPN told CBS Sports, "The core of the team had been together for more than three years, and tempers were wearing thin. Jordan and Chris Paul had gotten into it more than once, which led Jordan to start seriously contemplating what it might be like to play elsewhere. He was tired of Paul’s constant barking and petty gestures, like distributing high-fives to the three other guys on the floor following a timeout but somehow freezing out Jordan."
8 Loves Him: Kevin Hart
Besides the TMZ sighting of Hart (and Mayweather Jr.) conversing with Paul at the Clippers vs. Suns game, Hart also joined Paul in volunteering across Houston, Texas, after Hurricane Harvey took the city by storm.
This was more than a celebrity sighting of Hart with his rich athlete friend (Paul). Paul made stops at the Boys and Girls Club and Houston Food Bank in his Family Foundation Day of Service.
Hart took to Instagram to share a video of him helping out the local relief efforts in Houston. He wrote a simple caption, saying, "We don't just talk, we put our words to action."
Hart and Paul also served a lunch of barbecue for the community. In addition, Rockets forward Trevor Ariza joined Hart and Paul in handing out food to the hurricane victims. These three men humbled themselves and put their time to good use.
7 Hates Him: DeMarcus Cousins
Add DeMarcus Cousins to the list of NBA players who dislike Paul.
Cousins not only has a short temper, he also hasn't gotten along with Paul. Remember their viral feud back in 2013 when the Clippers escaped with a win over the Kings? Cousins wasn't afraid to voice his dissatisfaction on the final score. While Kings guard Isaiah Thomas went to shake hands with Paul after the game, Cousins refused to show an ounce of sportsmanship.
This wasn't the first time Cousins indirectly slammed Paul. After the televised incident, Paul told John Dickinson of 95.7 The Game, "He young man. He don't know better. He needs some guidance."
Chris Paul on DeMarcus Cousins preventing Thomas from shaking his hand: "He young man. He don't know better. He needs some guidance"— John Dickinson (@JDJohnDickinson) November 23, 2013
We have to admit the line "He needs some guidance" was one of the greatest responses we've ever seen. Hopefully, Cousins' beef with Paul has ended. But we know one thing: Cousins' hate towards the Clippers is strong.
6 Loves Him: Demi Lovato
No, Demi Lovato (singer, actress) isn't dating Paul, but she seems to be friendly with Paul and his buddies.
Lovato's a philanthropist so she does volunteer work in her spare time. So it shouldn't be a surprise that she was one of the volunteers at Paul's Family Foundation Day of Service alongside Hart and Ariza. The group of friends helped unload trucks and served lunch. Don't forget that Lovato is a native of Dallas, Texas. While Dallas isn't Houston, it's still close enough and she was #HoustonStrong as a fellow resident of the Lone Star State.
Lovato may have gone through a lot of things when she was younger, but all those things appear to be in her past now. She's making a name for herself-on and off the stage. She's more than just an actress and singer, she also likes to help out ordinary people when she has the time.
5 Hates Him: Jared Dudley
Jared Dudley currently plays as a forward for the Phoenix Suns, but let's not forget about his hatred towards the entire Clippers team as a former Clipper himself. And by entire team, we mean everyone from the players to the general manager. He really didn't hold back in an interview with Chris Broussard.
In the interview, Dudley shared the reasons why he thinks the Clippers are an unorganized team. There are probably a number of reasons, but just to name a few: Rivers doesn't have a system, Rivers shouldn't be a GM, Clippers don't have chemistry, and Griffin should be traded.
Dudley may be biased, but we don't think he's wrong. But it sure sounded like he had plenty of beef with his former Clipper teammates, including Chris Paul.
4 Loves Him: Billy Crystal
Billy Crystal is an actor, writer, producer, director, comedian and television host from New York City. He began his career in the 1970s by playing Jodie Dallas on the ABC sitcom Soap and later appeared in box office successes like When Harry Met Sally... (1989), City Slickers (1991), and Analyze This (1999). He also provided the voice of Mike Wazowski in the Monsters, Inc. franchise. He has also hosted the Academy Awards nine times since 1990, and most recently in 2012.
Crystal is a longtime Clippers fan. He has rooted for the team for a very long time. His seat is next to a seat that was vacated by former Clippers owner Donald Sterling. When Chris Paul left the Clippers this summer, one of the people he reached out to before heading to Houston was Crystal, as Paul felt Crystal had earned a proper goodbye for the support he'd shown him.
3 Hates Him: Lou Williams
Social media went all sorts of crazy after Paul tweeted, "To the Los Angeles community and CLIPPER NATION I say THANK YOU!!! For the past 6 years you all have welcomed not only me but my family. We love all of you.” Paul did that shortly after he agreed with the Clippers to exercise the opt-in clause of his contract, which cleared the way for the Los Angeles-based team to send him to the Rockets.
But Williams, one of the players the Clippers acquired in exchange of Paul, sent a sarcastic tweet from Beijing, China. Williams wrote, "1:13 Am in Beijing. can't go back to sleep. Let's check out some hoop news and see what's going on. ?"
1:13 Am in Beijing. can't go back to sleep. Let's check out some hoop news and see what's going on. 😎— Lou Williams (@TeamLou23) June 28, 2017
While this may be nothing more than sarcasm, it's a head-scratcher that makes most of us wonder why Williams didn't write something more empathetic to respond to Paul's official announcement on Twitter.
2 Loves Him: Spencer Lund
The name Spencer Lund probably doesn't ring a bell to you, but the managing editor of Dime on UPROXX (@DimeUPROXX) has shown some love towards Paul in an article he wrote back in 2015 titled "Chris Paul’s Split Personality Is Exactly What We Want In Our NBA Stars" and well, the title pretty much says it all.
Lund wrote about how Paul is the face of State Farm advertisements, attends church every Sunday, participates in an annual bowling event that raises money for the CP3 Foundation, and did more in the relief of Hurricane Katrina than any other NBA player who has played in New Orleans, Louisiana. He also defined him as the very definition of a model citizen and a well-respected public figure across the country.
Perhaps this is a little too much love for Paul, but we're pretty sure Lund doesn't care about what his readers think of him and his opinions.
1 Hates Him: Lauren Holtkamp
No, Holtkamp didn't get her 15 seconds of fame by hanging out with Paul. She's actually an NBA referee. She served as a referee for five NBA Development League seasons before landing a full-time job. She played college basketball at Drury University in Springfield, Missouri, from 2000 to 2004.
In 2015, Holtkamp gave Paul a technical foul, and Paul took shots at the rookie referee. Paul told NBA.com, "I think we have to show some composure, but at the same time, some of (the technical fouls) were ridiculous...We try to get the ball down the court, and when we did that, she said 'Uh-uh.' I said, 'Why, uh-uh?' And she gave me a tech. That's ridiculous...If that's the case, this might not be for her." Holtkamp was probably really angered over Paul's words.
Following the incident, Lee Seham—general counsel of the National Basketball Referees Association—said his group reviewed Holtkamp's calls and deemed them to be fully justified. Seham added, "Furthermore...the NBRA deplores the personal and unprofessional comments made by Chris Paul. #shebelongs."
After review, the calls made by Ms. Holtkamp are fully justified. We deplore the unprofessional comments made by Chris Paul. #shebelongs— NBA Referees (@OfficialNBARefs) February 6, 2015