The Chris Paul era in Los Angeles finally has ended — on a rather sour note.
Paul is heading to the Houston Rockets in a blockbuster trade that brings his seven-year tenure with the Clippers to an end. As news of the trade broke, some unseemly rumors surfaced that Paul’s ongoing feud with Doc Rivers played a role in the All-Star point guard leaving. Paul, it was reported, thought Rivers played favorites with his son, Clippers guard Austin Rivers, sometimes putting him ahead of the rest of the team.
Rivers, never one to stay silent on matters, got the chance to respond to the Paul trade Wednesday. And he had his own rather straightforward explanation for why his point guard skipped town.
“He left because he wanted to be with James Harden. Let’s not get that twisted,” Rivers said, via Brad Turner of the Los Angeles Times. “I wish him well. I have no problem with that.
“Do I disagree? Yeah, I think he would have been better served here. But that’s not for me. That’s (for) CP to decide, and he decided against that.”
Reading between the lines, Rivers does sound irked by Paul teaming up with his pal in Houston instead of sticking with the Clippers. But the L.A. coach got more riled up while addressing the rumors that Paul left because of Blake Griffin, DeAndre Jordan or his son, Austin.
“We’ve heard all the stories about Blake and DJ and Austin,” Rivers added. “I can’t comment just on Austin because it’s just not right. We’ve heard he left because of all three (Wednesday).
“… There is a lot of speculation on why he left. The one thing I know is he didn’t leave because of any of those three guys. He left because he felt like he would have a better chance to win somewhere else.”
Thumbnail photo via Gary A. Vasquez/USA TODAY Sports Images