Header Ads

Austin Rivers calls CP3 to clear the air on All-Star's exit from Clippers

Austin Rivers felt compelled to defend himself against an ESPN report's assertions that bad blood with former LA Clippers teammate Chris Paul -- and Paul's apparent displeasure with coach Doc Rivers over his preferential treatment of his son -- played a key role in the All-Star guard's deciding to orchestrate his way out of Los Angeles.

Rivers told USA Today Sports that he recently spoke with Paul after Paul had texted Rivers to dispute the report. Rivers said they were OK after a discussion over the phone to clear the air on the matter and added that Paul also sought to assure him that he was not to blame for Paul's Clippers departure.

Former teammates Austin Rivers and Chris Paul.
"I called Chris and was like, 'Chris, what's going on?'" Austin Rivers told USA Today while in Las Vegas to watch NBA summer league. "Chris is like, 'This is the biggest bull---- I've ever seen in my life.' Chris was just like, 'This is a joke.' 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."

Rivers said the duo talked for about 40 minutes, with Paul speaking openly to Austin of his desire to play with the Rockets' James Harden and that his motivation to leave Los Angeles for Houston had more to do with wanting to take on a new challenge than it did with the Clippers.

"What do I have to do with someone else's move?" Rivers said. "Chris wanted to move because he'd been (with the Clippers) for a while. He's had great years there, but he wanted something new. A lot of players want that. It's really that simple."

Rivers' comments to the paper came in the wake of a report by ESPN's Michael Eaves last month detailing that the relationship between Paul and Doc Rivers, the Clippers coach and president of basketball operations, had deteriorated rapidly since the team acquired Rivers during the 2015-16 season.

Sources told Eaves that Paul had become unhappy with Rivers over the preferential treatment of his son. Sources told Eaves that Doc Rivers would yell at players for certain things during games and practices but would not get on Austin Rivers in the same manner for similar transgressions.

In addition, sources told Eaves that Paul lost trust and faith in his coach after Doc Rivers ultimately declined a trade last season that would have brought Carmelo Anthony and Sasha Vujacic to the Clippers in exchange for Jamal Crawford, Paul Pierce and Austin Rivers.

Doc Rivers told ESPN's The Ryen Russillo Show last month that there was no offer made for Anthony to join the Clippers, calling the reports "just silly."

Paul, who spent six seasons with the Clippers, four of them while playing for Rivers, met with the team last month and didn't like what he heard from the team, sources told ESPN. He informed them soon after that he planned to leave in free agency if he declined his option.

Paul then headed to Houston to join Harden in an eight-player deal that sent the Clippers Sam Dekker, Patrick Beverley, Lou Williams, DeAndre Liggins, Darrun Hilliard, Montrezl Harrell, Kyle Wiltjer, a top-three-protected 2018 first-round pick and $661,000 from the Rockets in exchange for Paul.

Source: http://www.espn.com/nba/story/_/id/19959382/austin-rivers-calls-chris-paul-clear-air-all-star-departure-clippers

No comments

Powered by Blogger.