Rumor: Paul threatened departure over Rivers

Rumor: Paul threatened departure over Rivers
July 31, 2013, 4:00 pm
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Chris Paul wanted Doc Rivers. The Clippers did too. Then they balked. Paul threatened to leave. The Clippers made it happen.

That's essentially the timeline of events that Bill Simmons laid out on Grantland yesterday.

To Chris Paul, who basically told the Clippers that after they squashed the first incarnation of their Doc Rivers trade. Chris didn’t like that. He let them know he was heading to Houston to team up with Dwight. And he wasn’t kidding. For about 36 hours, Morey probably felt like all 11 guys in “Ocean’s Eleven.” You know what happened next: The Clippers blinked, the Doc trade got revived and finished, and the Clippers were offering Chris 107 million reasons to play for him. Crisis averted. The lesson, as always: Chris Paul runs the Clippers.

Paul had a hand in bringing Jamal Crawford to Los Angeles. He all but nudged Vinny Del Negro out the door when he chose not to make an effort to keep the coach around. And now it sounds as though Paul's threat to leave for Houston was one of the catalysts that landed Rivers on the West Coast.

Hopefully Paul's OK with giving up some of his power when he steps on the floor, though. Rivers doesn't seem like the kind of guy who would up-root his life to become a puppet. But if Paul went as far as Simmons says he did to bring Rivers aboard, he probably knows that already.