Doc Rivers says Chris Paul left because he was ‘tired of hearing my voice’
Doc Rivers isn’t holding any grudges after he and the L.A. Clippers tried to hold on to Chris Paul this offseason. The long-tenured coach admitted “there were a lot of reasons” why the dime maestro wanted out of La La Land and chose to make his way to Clutch City alongside budding star James Harden.
“I think he was tired of hearing my voice,” Rivers said during an interview with ESPN’s Kevin Arnovitz in The Hoop Collective podcast, via Kristian Winfield of SB Nation. “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.”
Paul and Rivers were two coaches — one on the hardwood and one on the sidelines — trying to coexist with one another during a grueling regular season and a pressure-cooker of a postseason.
Plenty of rumors surrounded Paul and his utter competitive nature often rubbing his teammates the wrong way during his time with the Clippers, as he was often seen yelling and pointing at his teammates, with his high fives becoming more of a sign of relief than the joy of playing the game.
“I thought the relationships — Blake, DJ, Chris — I thought they were better this past year but it was never great,” said Rivers. “Their dynamic, it just didn’t work. That’s the bottom line.”
“Even though I thought their relationship was much better last year, I really did, I still didn’t think it was a championship relationship. And until you have that, it’s hard to win.”
Ultimately Paul made the choice to join Harden after the latter’s huge fall at the hands of the San Antonio Spurs bench, eliminated by an embarrassing margin without two of their key players.