The ‘weird’ relationship between Blake Griffin-Chris Paul, told by Austin Rivers
Outside of being a constant presence in the playoffs, the L.A. Clippers weren’t exactly successful during the six seasons in which Chris Paul manned the point for the team. The Clippers never reached the conference finals during Paul’s stint with the team but it’s undeniable that the Clippers enjoyed its best run when the future Hall of Famer was at the helm of its offense; even signalling the start of the “Lob City” era together with Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan.
If you ask Austin Rivers, who played alongside Chris Paul with the team, however, one of the biggest reasons why he thinks the Clippers weren’t able to win it all during the Paul-era was because of a silent yet palpable rift between Paul and Blake Griffin, per Lee Jenkins of Sports Illustrated.
“The dynamic with Blake and Chris was weird,” said Austin Rivers. “I don’t know why. It was just strange. No one knew who the leader was, and if you had something to say, it would turn into an argument. I think people were sometimes scared to say something to Blake, because you didn’t know how he’d react.”
Putting two alpha males on one team hasn’t always worked in the NBA, but it still is a bit surprising to hear Rivers talk about the rift between Paul and Griffin since both had played sweet music together as teammates.
While what Austin Rivers just told Jenkins may sound as though he’s only shielding his father, Clippers head coach Doc Rivers, from some of the blame for the team’s shortcomings, it’s consistent with what former Clippers forward Luc Mbah a Moute said earlier about Blake Griffin trying to deal with Chris Paul’s leadership.
Paul was traded to the Houston Rockets in the offseason, and whether the Clippers could attain more success today than they did before with CP3 is something that remains to be seen.