Doc Rivers: Clippers players had nothing to do with Chris Paul's move to Rockets
"He left because he wanted to be with James Harden," the Los Angeles coach said
Chris Paul was always going to the Rockets. He told the Clippers in a meeting with them that his plan was to sign with Houston in free agency and that they should probably try to trade him. That's what Los Angeles did and they managed to get a decent return for a superstar player.
Doc Rivers spoke to the media and commented on the trade. He spoke at length about why Paul left, his relationship with Blake Griffin, DeAndre Jordan and Austin Rivers. He defended his players saying that Paul left to go play with Harden because he wanted to. This was most likely in response to reports Wednesday that Paul left due to issues with teammates and the coaching staff.
"At the end of the day, when you lose a CP, it's a big loss. I thank him for the years he was here. He left because he wanted to be with James Harden. Let's not get that twisted. 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 CP to decide and he decided against that. We've heard all the stories about Blake and DJ and Austin. I can't comment just on Austin because it's just not right. We've heard he left because of all three today. He left because of DJ, he left because of Blake and now he left because of Austin. We know he didn't leave because of that. 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."
Rivers is right that for the majority of Paul's time in Los Angeles he's had his teammates receive blame and now that he's left, those same players are receiving blame. He's probably right that Paul chose to leave so he could go play with Harden and that it had less to do with internal issues, but to say there were none at all is probably not accurate. If Paul was completely happy in Los Angeles he wouldn't have left.
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