Despite his many achievements in an NBA career that is closing in on 15 years, Chris Paul has frequently received flak for having an allegedly disruptive locker room presence. This was something that former teammate Kenyon Martin touched on in a recent appearance on Sports Illustrated Now Live, where he commented on Paul’s attitude as an NBA player and how the nine-time All-Star purportedly has a tendency to usurp his head coach’s duties.
On Friday, Martin was interviewed by SI Now Live‘s Robin Lundberg, and was asked about claims that Paul oftentimes acts too much like a coach, as opposed to simply leading his team on the floor as their starting point guard. As quoted by USA Today‘s Rockets Wire, the former NBA player told Lundberg he agrees with that assessment, adding that this sometimes “rubs guys the wrong way.”
“We’re all here to do a job, we understand that you’re the point guard, we get that,” Martin continued. “We’re not taking that away from you, you’re supposed to be an extension of the coach on the floor. But you can take that leadership they granted you too far for some guys.”
Per a separate article from Bleacher Report, Martin further alleged that Paul wants to stand out as the “biggest voice in the room” and needs to acknowledge that he is not always the smartest person on the team.
“Sometimes you can listen, and I think he has a hard time taking that part of it,” he continued.
As noted by Bleacher Report, Martin played a total of 15 seasons in the NBA and was Paul’s teammate for 42 games in the 2011-12 campaign, when both were playing for the Los Angeles Clippers.
— Robert Littal (@BSO) July 15, 2019
Although the Rockets agreed last week to trade Chris Paul and multiple future draft picks to the Oklahoma City Thunder for Russell Westbrook, rumors surrounding the 34-year-old former All-NBA guard and his relationship with soon-to-be-former backcourt partner James Harden have consistently been swirling in the days since then. The Inquisitr reported on Saturday that, per a source who spoke to Yahoo Sports, Harden was supposedly responsible for convincing Houston management that they needed to trade Paul to another team.
Last month, reports alleged that the relationship between Paul and Harden had become especially contentious after the Houston Rockets’ loss to the Golden State Warriors in this year’s Western Conference Semifinals. However, Paul and Rockets general manager, Daryl Morey, issued separate statements denying those rumors, mere weeks before Houston and Oklahoma City agreed to the Paul-for-Westbrook trade.