Rockets PG Chris Paul says Clippers ‘just ran our course there’
Upon his arrival to the L.A. Clippers in December 2011, All-Star point guard Chris Paul helped immediately transform the franchise into a powerhouse in the Western Conference.
However, Paul’s tenure with the Clippers never saw the team break through during the playoffs to become a true title contender. According to Jackie MacMullan of ESPN, it was a situation that the 32-year-old strongly believes played itself out.
It was time, Paul sensed, for a fresh start — with a team that would embrace his input, not chafe at it. “We just ran our course there,” Paul says. Houston, he determined, would be a better fit.
In the last six seasons, the Clippers with Paul at the helm were a constant in the playoff picture with six straight appearances while earning their first two Pacific division titles and the first pair of 50-plus wins campaigns. However, Los Angeles failed to make it past the Western Conference semifinals in any year while bowing out in the first round three times.
Granted, injuries did play a part in a few of those postseason trips with both Chris Paul and Blake Griffin suffering untimely ailments but it shouldn’t overshadow the prime opportunities they had to break through. Keep in mind, the Clippers did possess a 3-1 series lead over the Houston Rockets in the semifinals two years ago and gave that away.
Los Angeles once had the luster of being the next great team in the Western Conference, but its inability to step it up in the playoffs prevented it from reaching those lofty expectations. All of this ultimately led to Paul’s desire to move on from the situation for a chance to team up with fellow All-Star guard James Harden with the Rockets in hopes of finally experiencing the playoff success he had envisioned to have with the Clippers.