When Chris Paul Led Rockets Through a Secret Tunnel to Fight Clippers in their Locker Room

When Chris Paul led the Houston Rockets through a secret tunnel for a locker room showdown with the Clippers. DEETS inside.

Oindrila Chowdhury
Written by Oindrila Chowdhury , Writer
Published on May 26, 2024 | 09:47 PM IST | 61.8K
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Throwback to Chris Paul's covert Rockets raid on Clippers' locker room.

The "Chris Paul Secret Tunnel Fight" is a legendary moment in NBA history. Though not one known for actual fisticuffs. It all happened in 2018 during a heated game between the Houston Rockets and the Los Angeles Clippers. 

Chris Paul, a former Clipper, was now playing for the Rockets. There was already bad blood between the teams due to on-court clashes. That day, the Clippers won a close one, 113-102, with some technical fouls and ejections.

After a close game, tensions flared between the teams. Particularly, between Chris Paul and Blake Griffin, a former teammate. Paul, knowing the Staples Center layout from his Clippers days, led the Rockets (James Harden, Trevor Ariza, Gerald Green) through a supposedly secret tunnel toward the Clippers' locker room. Clint Capela, another Rocket, created a diversion by knocking on the main locker room door.

Security and possibly even police were called to diffuse the situation. Thankfully, it never escalated to physical violence. The NBA launched an investigation. Ariza and Green faced two-game suspensions. The whole episode became a hilarious meme.

Chris Paul's trade from the Los Angeles Clippers to the Houston Rockets

Chris Paul was traded from the Los Angeles Clippers to the Houston Rockets in June 2017.

He was nearing the end of his contract and looking for a lucrative extension. The Clippers were hesitant to commit to that financial burden. On the other hand, the Rockets, having James Harden, desired another superstar. And, Chris Paul perfectly fits that role.

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To make the trade work salary-cap wise, Paul opted into the final year of his existing contract with the Clippers. This allowed the Rockets to acquire him through a trade package without having the cap space to sign him outright as a free agent.

The trade initially proved successful for the Rockets. The pairing of Paul and Harden led them to a franchise-record 65 wins in the 2017-2018 season. However, they fell short of winning a championship ultimately losing to the Golden State Warriors.

After two seasons together, the Rockets traded Paul to the Oklahoma City Thunder in 2019. They opted to go in a different direction by acquiring Russell Westbrook to pair with Harden.

 

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Meet Oindrila, who loves covering breaking news with a finger firmly on the sport's pulse. Her switch

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