Chris Paul is going back to where it all started.
After being traded from the Houston Rockets in exchange for Russell Westbrook in a blockbuster deal on Thursday night, Paul will return to Oklahoma City; the place where his NBA career began. Paul spent the first two years of his professional career playing with the then-New Orleans Hornets in Oklahoma City, after the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina forced them out of their hometown.
Oklahoma City welcomed the displaced Hornets with open arms, and their hospitality was a major catalyst for them ultimately getting their own team in the Thunder. Unsurprisingly, Paul has fond memories of his time in the Sooner State.
“You could walk in the front door and fall out the back,” Paul said of his home in Oklahoma City back in 2014, via The Oklahoman. “It used to smell like dog food all the time because when the wind blew, the dog food plant was right there… But I loved it.”
Paul evens remembers how much he paid for his dog food-scented domicile.
“I paid $750 a month,” he said.
In addition to the relatively cheap cost of living, Paul also fondly remembers the support from the fans in the city
“Preseason games were crazy,” Paul said. “Every game we played, I’ve never seen fan support like that… Nothing like it. Nothing like it.”
Paul’s NBA future remains an unknown at this point in time, as the Thunder could potentially move him again to a more preferable destination, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.
If he is moved again though it’s safe to say that it would be because he doesn’t think that the Thunder provide him with the best opportunity to win at a high level at this point in his career, not because of any issue that he has with Oklahoma City itself. If he does end up staying in the city known as “The Big Friendly” he will probably be able to afford a bit nicer of a home than he had the first time around, given the fact that he still has three years and over $124 million remaining on his current contract.