Doc Rivers: Chris Paul leaving Clippers for Rockets 'bugs me'
Doc also says he is willing to be part of a rebuild if the Clippers go down that route.
Given what could have been with Chris Paul, Blake Griffin and Doc Rivers together in Los Angeles, a relatively disappointing four-year run for the Clippers is taking a turn now that CP3 is taking his talents to Houston. The Clippers head coach is upset to him go.
"That part is over. And that bugs me," Rivers told ESPN. "But we're not done trying to reach our goal. Sometimes you gotta do it a different way. Because the way we tried to do it didn't work."
Although the Clippers advanced to the playoffs every year since Rivers and Paul teamed up, they never made it past the second round. Ill-timed injuries and rotten luck played a role in that lack of success, and in reflection, Rivers says the lost potential bothers him.
"We were close, and then we had self-inflicted wounds," Rivers said. "You would love to get those back but you don't get that back. But it's not like it was awful. And that's the point. We were a game away from the Western finals and we were three minutes of basketball away against Oklahoma. We were knocking on the door of being very successful, and we just didn't get it done."
With Paul now gone, the Clippers' core is now completely up in the air: Blake Griffin will become an unrestricted free agent on Saturday, as will J.J. Redick. Retaining Griffin seems to be the primary goal moving forward. Otherwise, the franchise could be looking at a complete rebuild. And Doc Rivers isn't totally ruling out the idea of being a part of it, should the team be forced in that direction.
"I've done it three times. Rebuilding is [tough]," Rivers said. "But it's better when you're in the trenches. [In L.A.] I'm involved every day. I've thought if I'm gonna ever do that again, I'm gonna have my fingerprint on it."
With free agency set to begin Saturday at midnight, the Clippers should know where things are headed sooner rather than later.
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