REPORT: Chris Paul ‘Despised’ Doc Rivers For Favoring His Son

Earlier today, the Los Angeles Clippers traded their superstar Chris Paul to the Houston Rockets. The divorce has become ugly as ESPN’s Michael Eaves unloaded a bombshell on Facebook that Paul “despises” Clippers head coach Doc Rivers.

Here’s the story:

Here’s some information on the Chris Paul trade. First the MICRO:

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.”

(I was also told that when Paul met with the team to inform them of his plans, Jerry West was not in attendance. It was only Doc and Lawrence Frank.)


This move is a win-win for Chris Paul, and it was all part of a master plan. By opting into the final year of his current contract and pressuring the Clippers to trade him to Houston, Paul will be in the exact same situation next summer. He can re-sign with the Rockets for 5 years and $200+ million or sign a 4-year deal for about $150 million with another team. In addition, he will save several million dollars in state income tax.

Also, by being committed to the Rockets for only one season, it gives him a year to see if he can actually co-exist and pursue a title with James Harden. But even beyond that, this move gives Paul more flexibility to join LeBron James in 2018. If he stayed in LA or signed the max deal with the Clippers and forced them to do a sign-and-trade with the Rockets, Paul and LeBron could only join forces at one location. Now, they will have the ability to pick and choose wherever they want to go as a tandem, which could be Houston, LA {Lakers or Clippers (provided Doc is no longer with organization)}, or any other destination in-between.

Damn,  I knew there was tension in the Clippers locker room, but not to this level.

Basically the story is that Rivers favored his son, Austin Rivers over everyone else, and the younger Rivers never made an effort to be part of the team. In the end, Austin was rewarded with a three-year, $35.5 million contract by his dad, who also happened be the team’s president, thus ultimately leading to Paul’s indifference for the Clips.

It’s understandable that Paul would be irked by Rivers favoring his son and being unwilling to trade him. I have a feeling this isn’t the last bit of drama we’ll hear from this breakup.

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