Doc Rivers fires back at Chris Paul for comments on LA Clippers’ culture

LOS ANGELES, CA - OCTOBER 13: Doc Rivers /

Doc Rivers took to the Lunchtime with Roggin and Rodney radio show to address Chris Paul’s recent comments about the LA Clippers’ culture.

So much for Chris Paul’s “no hard feelings” departure from the LA Clippers. An excerpt from his upcoming three-part documentary about his decision aired on Tuesday night on ESPN, and it seems that there is more to the story than we initially thought.

"“A lot of people see the wins and losses, but it’s the culture of our team. If you aren’t trying to contend with the Warriors, then what are you doing? You know what I mean? The Warriors haven’t lost in the playoffs. If you aren’t trying to contend with them, then what are you doing?”"

Even though Paul never directly addresses Doc Rivers or the Clippers, it’s clearly what he’s referring to.

We know Paul left LA to contend for a title in Houston – but contending is exactly what the Clippers have been doing ever since the future Hall of Famer took over the reigns, which is the point that Rivers makes with his response. This was the first time that Rivers had heard Paul’s comments.

"“I think everybody is trying to compete with [the Warriors], but last I checked it’s the players that are trying to compete with them. I didn’t play against the Warriors. You did. I think it’s so easy when you leave — coaches do it, players do it — to try and put the house on fire when you leave, and you had nothing to do with it. You know what I mean? We could do a better job coaching, and players could do a better job playing. It always works out that way. But for the most part, players never take any fault. The last time we played the Warriors in the playoffs, we beat them. Then the next year, in the Oklahoma City series, we came apart. And the guy that was talking about that, was one of the main guys in that series where we could have won. The following year we have a 3-1 advantage, and we came apart. Then the next two years we had the injuries and we couldn’t do anything about it. Overall, I love what Chris did, what all our players did. But at the end of the day we were not good enough. You just have to accept the fact that team was better than your team. What hurts me is I thought talent-wise we could have been better than what we did. I thought the culture was good, it evaporated last year some because you had a lot of guys thinking about leaving. Either you’re in or you’re out, and once you decide you may be in, then you’re out. I thought last year you could really feel that from our whole team, we had too many guys trying to make a decision on whether they should sign back or not. When you have that, you don’t have a team that’s in. You look at Golden State as a great example. Do you think one of those guys last season was thinking about getting out? Not one. They played like a team and we’re committed the whole time. I think that’s the answer.”"

Rivers pointed out that several unidentified players weren’t fully committed to the team last season, and that’s not difficult to comprehend. The Clippers had 8 players in the final year of their contracts last season, and it’s human nature to prepare for the future. It’s unfortunate though, since we now know that Paul had that mindset.

Rivers is right to criticize Paul. Like he said, it’s easy for players to “put the house on fire” once they leave. However, Clipper Nation showed him endless love, and became his most stubborn defenders. Now, there’s a bitter taste in our mouths. And it hurts.

You can catch Doc Rivers’s full interview on the Roggin and Rodney podcast, linked below.

What’re your thoughts on Paul’s comments? Do you side more with Doc or CP? Let us know how you feel, and keep up with us for more information.