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Chris Paul Assured Austin Rivers That Doc Rivers’ Preferential Treatment Didn’t Force Him Out of L.A.
When the news came down that the Los Angeles Clippers had traded star point guard Chris Paul to the Houston Rockets, the rumors began swirling about why CP3 wanted out of L.A—it reportedly had to do with Austin Rivers and coach Doc Rivers.
New York offered Carmelo and Sasha Vujacic to the Clippers in exchange for Jamal Crawford, Paul Pierce and Austin Rivers, a deal to which Rivers ultimately said no. That event led Paul to feel that keeping his son on the roster was more important to Doc than improving the team.”
The young Rivers and his now ex-teammate discussed the matter over the phone, with Paul assuring him the rumors were false.
“I called Chris and was like, ‘Chris, what’s going on?’ Chris is like, ‘This is the biggest bull(expletive) I’ve ever seen in my life.’ Chris was just like, ‘This is a joke,’” Rivers recounted to USA Today’s Sam Amick. “So I asked him, I’m like, ‘You don’t need to come out and say nothing publicly, I don’t need you to do that. It’s just going to make it even more, now they’re going to drag it out two more days. I’ll take it. I don’t care. I’ve been dealing with this (dynamic) since I was 6 (years old). I really don’t even care.’”
Rivers stated they spoke on the phone for over 40 minutes and Paul told him he just needed a change of scenery as well as the opportunity to play alongside James Harden.
“What do I have to do with someone else’s move? Chris wanted to move because he’d been (with the Clippers) for a while,” said Rivers. “He’s had great years there, but he wanted something new. A lot of players want that. It’s really that simple.”