Carmelo Anthony and Chris Paul, both part of the famed “Banana Boat” crew, faced off on Sunday after being teammates with the Rockets for the first ten games of last season. After the game, Anthony told ESPN about his unceremonious exit from Houston and what he said to Paul about it at the time:
“When my situation happened in Houston, he was the first person that I called to come to my room. And we had to clear some things up, and I wanted to know if he had anything to do with it. And that was the first thing that I wanted to know, and he told me, ‘No.’ And from that point on, I told him, looked him in his eyes and said, ‘Look, just be careful.’ You know what I mean? Just be careful. And damn sure if [the same situation] didn’t happen to him.”
Paul was traded to the Oklahoma City Thunder last summer as part of a package that sent Russell Westbrook to Houston. Anthony said that Paul initially seemed to handle it better than he did:
“No, he didn’t say I was right,” Anthony said. “He was in Vegas when all of that happened, so we was talking. And when I talked to him, he was like, ‘Man, look, I understand it. It’s messed up, but I understand it.’ And for me, I’m like, ‘Yo, it took me months to kind of, like, get past that.’ My pride was hit. My ego was hit. I had to really get past that. To a point where it was like, ‘Man, Chris, is you good?’ I wanted to make sure he was good. So he told me he was good, and that was that.”
Paul and the Thunder defeated the Trail Blazers 108-96.