As you can probably imagine, the fact that Chris Paul opted to leave the Los Angeles Clippers wasn’t a move that head coach Doc Rivers was very happy about. While Rivers has every right to hate seeing his former star point guard leave town, which resulted in the team actually trading him to the Houston Rockets, he didn’t exactly take the high road in the process.
FOX Sports West shared Rivers’ comments on their Twitter, which included him stating that the Clippers will “have ball movement” with Paul out of the lineup.
The best part is that all of the new players who were acquired in the deal from the Rockets were also there. This quote from Rivers also comes on the heels of an interview with The Undefeated’s Marc J. Spears, in which Rivers said he didn’t believe the Clippers would take a step back, stating that the team “added talent.”
When he was asked by Spears if the Clippers needed to shake things up, Rivers admitted that he felt the team did need to make changes.
Yeah. Yeah. I said that after the season. I said after last season, ‘I don’t know how we are going to be, but we are not going to be the same team.’ And we are not. We’ve won a lot of games. The one thing with Chris, Blake [Griffin], D.J. [DeAndre Jordan], over the last four years we’ve had the fourth-best record in the NBA.
We’ve had ample opportunities. The fiasco in Oklahoma [in 2014], that was a brutal blow. We were about to go to the West finals. The next year, a 3-1 lead, a huge lead, and we blow that [to the Rockets]. We’ve had some self-inflicted wounds on our own. But as far as being a good, solid basketball team, I don’t think we should be ashamed about anything except for not winning it. And that was the ultimate goal.
Well, it seems that Rivers got his wish, and the Clippers are going to certainly have a new look heading into the 2017-18 season. The question is, what type of production will they get from the point guard position, and how will a non-point guard-dominated offense look? These things should both get answered pretty early on in the season. Another point worth watching is going to be how the Clippers can compete in a tough Western Conference, including against the Paul-James Harden duo with the Rockets.
Rivers might be a bit salty now about Paul leaving, and he did get his final parting shot in, but he may not be the one getting the last laugh if the Rockets wind up living up to their tremendous potential.