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HomeTop StoriesChris Paul, Draymond Green among many recent rivals turned teammates

Chris Paul, Draymond Green among many recent rivals turned teammates

Some of the NBA’s top rivals turned into the most successful partners when they became teammates.

Chris Paul joining the Golden State Warriors marks the most recent pairing of rivals that are now on the same side. Warriors forward Draymond Green hasn’t shied away from mentioning his dislike for Paul, and their past history backs that up.

The Warriors faced Paul three times in the playoffs, most notably the 2018 Western Conference Finals, which Golden State won in seven games, and the 2019 Western Conference Semifinals, which Golden State won in six.

When asked during the offseason on a scale of one to 10 how much he previously despised Paul, Green yelled “Eleven!” admitting he even “hated” the point guard.

Paul and the Golden State Warriors are hoping to turn that hatred into success. So far, the Warriors are 7-8 on the season, with a matchup against the Phoenix Suns on Wednesday (ESPN, 10 p.m. ET).

Here are some recent notable rivals turned teammates across professional sports.


Russell Westbrook and Patrick Beverley (2022-2023)

These two guards had a tumultuous relationship before becoming teammates on the Los Angeles Lakers in 2022.

In the first round of the 2013 Western Conference playoffs, Westbrook collided with Beverley before a timeout, suffering a slight tear in his meniscus that sidelined him until February 2014. Each matchup after that brought some heat, but Westbrook escalated the beef in 2019.

After James Harden scored 47 points against Beverley and the Clippers, Westbrook told reporters postgame that Beverley “tricked y’all” and that he doesn’t play defense, instead he “just running around doing nothing.”

Beverley claimed that Westbrook’s comments actually damaged his career. However, when the two became teammates with the Lakers, Beverley called Westbrook his best friend.

Their partnership in Los Angeles wasn’t as eventful as the back and forth through the years. They were both traded in February 2023 after less than a year as teammates.

Joel Embiid and Andre Drummond (2021)

There’s been no shortage of chirping between Embiid and Drummond.

After Embiid had 30 points and nine rebounds against Drummond in 2017, he said the then-Detroit Pistons center didn’t play any defense. Just a year later, after dropping 33 points and 11 rebounds in a loss to Drummond, Embiid said postgame he owned “a lot of real estate” in the Pistons center’s head.

Two weeks after that loss, Embiid had 39 points and 17 rebounds against Drummond in a win, taking his trolling to another level.

They became teammates in 2021 and Drummond downplayed the rivalry. However, the pairing didn’t last, with Drummond playing just 49 games before being traded.

Kobe Bryant and Matt Barnes (2010-2012)

A game in March 2010 between the Orlando Magic and Lakers created one of the more viral videos in NBA history.

Bryant and Barnes became interlocked multiple times resulting in physical play and a double technical. Elbows were thrown, both players got into each other’s face and the situation almost came to a head multiple times.

But the most notable moment came with 8:29 remaining in the third quarter when Barnes faked a pass at Bryant’s face — and Bryant didn’t even flinch.

The next offseason, Barnes signed with the Lakers and became teammates with Bryant. They spent two seasons as teammates and developed a close relationship.


Derek Jeter and Alex Rodriguez (2004-2014)

Jeter and Rodriguez appeared on the cover of Sports Illustrated together in 1997 and were close enough that they had sleepovers at each other’s houses when playing against each other, according to the New York Post.

Things changed when Rodriguez joined the Texas Rangers in December 2000.

His 10-year, $252 million contract was the largest at the time and reporters asked him who he thought would surpass him. Rodriguez pointed out that it would be hard for Jeter because Jeter “just doesn’t do the power numbers and defensively he doesn’t do all those things.”

In March 2001, Jeter said he didn’t care about the record and Rodriguez dismissed any beef between the two.

However, a month later, Rodriguez took a shot at Jeter in an interview with Esquire, saying the New York Yankees star is “blessed” with great talent around him and never had to lead. He also added that going into New York, “you never say, ‘Don’t let Derek beat you.’ He’s never your concern.”

They became teammates in February 2004 and Rodriguez admitted in 2007 that their relationship wasn’t the same. They won their first and only World Series together in 2009.


Jerry Rice and Deion Sanders (1994)

Two players who are among the greatest at their respective positions had heated battles on the field. At one point, Rice and Sanders admitted that they hated each other.

“We couldn’t get along,” said Rice, in the NFL Films “A Football Life” episode about his career. “If Deion was on the opposite side, it was going down the next day.”

Sanders signed with the San Francisco 49ers in 1994, playing on the same side for just one season. Rice and Sanders still didn’t get along when playing together. They even got upset at each other the night before Super Bowl XXIX, a game they won 49-26, according to “A Football Life.”

After the season, Sanders joined the Dallas Cowboys, one of the 49ers biggest rivals in the 90s, continuing the bad blood.

Josh Allen and Rasul Douglas (2023)

Just over a year after Allen directed trash talk toward Douglas, the two became members of the same locker room.

When the Buffalo Bills played the Green Bay Packers during the 2022 season, Allen had choice words for Douglas.

The Bills then traded for Douglas this year, bolstering a cornerback room weeks after Tre’Davious White suffered a season ending injury.

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