Doc Rivers Rumors

The Clippers pulled off one of several blockbuster trades in a wild NBA summer when they dealt Chris Paul to the Houston Rockets, but it was Paul who wanted out of Los Angeles, not the other way around. And in an appearance on ESPN’s The Hoop Collective podcast with Kevin Arnovitz, head coach Doc Rivers admitted “there were a lot of reasons” why one of the best point guards in NBA history was ready to move on. “I think he was tired of hearing my voice,” Rivers said. “I think Chris is a guy who is very opinionated, wants to be coached ‘kind of,’ if you know what I’m saying, but wants a partnership as well. And it’s tough from a coaching perspective. You gotta have a partnership but at times, you’ve gotta make the call. I thought that bothered him.
Storyline: Clippers Front Office
GARNETT: I love him. That’s my real life brother, man. We have a super strong connection. That bond will never be broken and I’d do anything for ‘em. WESTBROOK: He’s one of the most unselfish guys I know, just willing to sacrifice to help other people out. RIVERS: He’s a sunshine guy. There’s guys who bring sunshine. He’s one of those guys.
However, Melo’s biggest carrot would be achieving such a foreign feat alongside Chris Paul. Fast friends for a decade or more, the two waxed poetic over the years about someday becoming teammates. That’s what makes this next news so contradictory. According to a Clipper source, it was Paul, not coach Doc Rivers, as publicized without attribution, who turned thumbs down on a trade on deadline late last February that would’ve made them teammates. Supposedly, Doc declined to include his son, Austin. Let’s be clear about the above: I have been unable to confirm that story, but know this, the informant has been unfailingly accurate over the years.
The Clippers head coach was back in town Wednesday to host the annual ABCD Hoops Dream fundraiser at TD Garden and spoke in glowing terms about Boston’s new point guard. “This is a perfect situation [for Irving], other than LA,” Rivers said with a laugh. “This is a perfect situation for him. Celtics gave up a lot to get him, but he’s 25 years old and that’s the other thing people forget about: He’s so young. He’s going to be a star here for a long time.”
“He’s great. He’s a closer,” Rivers declared. “If I’ve learned anything in my 18 years coaching, you need a closer at the end of games. It’s important. You don’t win without them. There is no team that has ever won without having one or two closers on their team. Kyrie is one of the better closers in the league. He’s one of those guys that can struggle for three and a half quarters, but you need someone with those last four minutes on the line that can take the game over. Kyrie has exhibited that and he’ll do that.”