Chris Paul Reportedly Wanted A Trade Because He Hated Doc’s Relationship With Austin Rivers
This morning, news broke that the Clippers traded Chris Paul to the Houston Rockets for several players and a protected first round pick. Los Angeles will lose one of the greatest point guards in the game–a nine-time NBA All-Star, eight-time All-NBA, and nine-time All-Defensive team court general.
As the trade has sent the basketball world into a frenzy, information is being spilled about the motive for the trade. According to ESPN’s Michael Eaves, a former local Clippers broadcaster, Chris Paul’s stale relationship with head coach and President of Basketball Operations Doc Rivers was a driving force.
Paul’s relationship with Doc Rivers started to deteriorate rapidly after the Clippers acquired Austin Rivers. Several members of the team felt Austin acted entitled because his dad was both the coach and the President of Basketball Operations. In the view of the tenured players, Austin Rivers never tried to fit in, and when players tried to address the situation with him, he still did not respond the way the core of the team wanted him to. It led to resentment within the locker room, which often played out during games. One of Paul’s biggest contentions with Doc was that Paul, and other players, felt Doc treated Austin more favorably than other players. He would yell at guys for certain things during games and practices, but not get on Austin in the same manner for similar transgressions.
But what really solidified Paul’s dissatisfaction with Doc was a proposed trade involving Carmelo Anthony last season. 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. So, ultimately, Paul lost both trust and faith in Doc. As one league executive put it, “Chris despises Doc.”
Austin, who is an average NBA player, has fought off criticism of being shielded by his father’s influence. Recently, former teammate Glen ‘Big Baby’ Davis called Austin out in an incensed Instagram post, saying, “Your father gave you your money. You ain’t work for it, motherfucker. You’re a fucking bum, whose been given the world. Shut up. And just stay under your father.”
Things are about to get dicey in Los Angeles.