Chris Paul Was Supposed To Join The Heat, But The Trade Fell Through Because Dwyane Wade Wouldn’t Give Him The No. 3 Jersey

Chris Paul Dwayne Wade
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You’re telling me that Chris Paul missed out on his shot at an NBA championship because he wouldn’t change his jersey number to join the Miami Heat?

Yeah that checks out.

As revealed in an exchange between CP3 and Dwyane Wade on The Why podcast hosted by the latter, a trade was in place for Paul to take his talents to South Beach and team up with LeBron James and D-Wade. Unfortunately, the pettiest of things got in the way from that deal coming to fruition.

The whole exchange captured here is a little redundant, so here’s a portion toward the end of it that’s most salient and succinct:

“DW: I remember when that question was posed. I was sitting there like, ‘Bro, what are you talking about? Just get another number.’ And CP3 was like, ‘No.’ […] Whole trade [was off].

CP: I was almost in Miami. D-Wade wanted to sacrifice everything else. He ain’t wanna sacrifice his damn number. I tell you man…

DW: Listen, I’ll sacrifice not getting touches. I’ll sacrifice not getting that article read, and not getting the most money. But I am not giving up my number!”

Both men explained how they were largely on the same page about how all those superstars were going to share the ball. So the basketball side of things was worked out. The logistics were decided upon. Terms agreed to all around. Except for the damn jersey number.

Current-day CP3 in the fifth-dimensional Interstellar bookcase construct looking back on this decision like:

Isn’t this whole saga such classic, stubborn CP3 behavior? Of course he’d prioritize his personal branding over conceding a jersey number to the guy who carried the Heat to an NBA title before the Heatles/Big Three costarring LeBron and Chris Bosh joined forces with him. You don’t just strut into a new team, where somebody with your number is already so beloved, and demand to take their jersey number. What kind of moronic move is that?

I had to dig into this a bit more. Apparently the reason why Paul wears No. 3 is because his father is CP1, his brother is CP2, and he followed suit by always wearing No. 3. Another major reason: Paul was simply copying the jersey number of his childhood basketball idol, Philadelphia 76ers legend Allen Iverson.

DUDE. How about paying homage to your father by, you know, playing for an amazing, perennial championship contender and wearing his No. 1 jersey? Or go the opposite way in numerical count and rock the classic number zero.

Mr. Paul, you know how people make jokes now that you should be nicknamed CP0 because you have zero rings? Nobody would ever be able to make that joke now. If you were on the Heat, you’d have won at least one, maybe two, and possibly three titles if you’d just picked a couple of my proposed alternative, perfectly sensible jersey numbers! Miami won two championships and made another NBA Finals with their core of LeBron, D-Wade and Bosh. CP3 turns 39 in May, and his time is running out as a role player for the Golden State Warriors.

Another interesting moment from the pod: CP3 thinks his career is complete without a championship.

Sure he does.

It’s already hard to like Chris Paul for all the bullsh*t he used to pull on Boogie Cousins and all the other dirty plays he’s committed over the years.

Whether it’s his ridiculous histrionics to draw fouls, his inability to stay healthy or play particularly well in the playoffs, or wearing out his welcome with many, many different NBA franchises, I’m glad history played out as it did. It’d be annoying as f*ck to have Chris Paul strutting around as an NBA champion. He’d be the most insufferable, gloating winner ever.

PS, when I say, “glad history played out as it did”, I don’t mean that I was glad whenever Paul got hurt. I’d rather have seen CP3 at full strength during some of those postseason runs. Injuries admittedly derailed some of his best chances at a Larry O’Brien Trophy. As did a would-be trade to the Los Angeles Lakers to play next to Kobe Bryant that was vetoed by the league office. At least that wasn’t a jersey-related squabble and couldn’t be blamed on CP3 in the slightest.

Below is the full D-Wade/CP3 interview that spans almost two hours. Bless you if you can hear Chris Paul speak uninterrupted for that long.

A beer bottle on a dock



A beer bottle on a dock