Throughout the better part of Chris Paul and Melo Anothony’s careers, they have been known as perennial all-stars who were once the faces of the NBA. Melo was an elite scorer and Paul was known as one of the best point guards in the game.
To start off their careers, both Melo and Paul were called upon to carry their franchises in New Orleans and Denver. Although their supporting casts were not great, each showed why they were elite players. Ultimately, however, both fell short and thought it was time for a fresh start.
Carmelo was traded to New York, while Chris was headed to Los Angeles to lead the Clippers. After years of trying to get it right, neither team even made it to a conference finals appearance despite having some talented rosters surrounding them.
Eventually, Paul was traded to the Rockets to try to pair with James Harden while Carmelo’s career was heading in a different direction. Despite not getting it done in Houston, Paul was just one game away from making it to the NBA Finals.
Unfortunately, he suffered a hamstring injury in Game 6 of the Conference Finals against The Golden State Warriors.
Melo on the other hand was asked to come off the bench in OKC with Russell Westbrook and Paul George. That only lasted one season, however, as he then went to Houston where he was quickly released.
For a good amount of time, Melo was controversially exiled almost from the league at the time until Portland finally gave him a call. Meanwhile, Paul was traded to a rebuilding Thunder team that had less than a 1% chance of making the playoffs in the bubble during the 2020 season.
Anthony was an integral part of the Blazers while Chris Paul led an inexperienced Thunder to a 5th seed in the playoffs. Despite both not making it far in the playoffs that year, each veteran showed why they still belong in the league.
This past season, Paul headed to Phoenix to try to lead a young Suns franchise who failed to make the playoffs since the 2010 season. Remarkably, Chris Paul at age 36 had an amazing Western Conference Finals against his former team in the Clippers and catapulted Phoenix to the NBA Finals.
Unfortunately, however, the magical season came to an end after the Suns blew a 2-0 lead to the Milwaukee Bucks.
This offseason, Paul re-signed with the Suns on a 4-year $120M deal, while Carmelo shockingly joined his longtime friend LeBron James in Los Angeles on a one-year deal.
Despite Paul being much more of an integral piece on his team, it is clear that both are looking to cap off their careers with a championship at age 36 and 37 respectively. They both have all the individual accolades that they could have hoped for and more when they entered the league.
The last thing they are missing is that elusive title they have so desperately wanted. Do not be surprised if these two match up in the playoffs in a do-or-die situation. For all they have done for the game, I am rooting for both of them to finally reach the mountaintop.