Sergio Estrada-USA TODAY Sports

Report: Chris Paul's hatred of Doc Rivers led to Clippers exit

Alex Reimer
June 28, 2017 - 4:08 pm

Doc Rivers has apparently chosen family over winning basketball games. 

ESPN's Michael Eaves reports Chris Paul grew resentful of Rivers, due to the perceived favorable treatment he gave his son, Austin Rivers. The Clippers traded Paul to the Rockets Wednesday in exchange for guards Patrick Beverley, Lou Williams, a 2018 first-round pick and other pieces. Paul, who agreed to opt in to the final year of his $24.2 million contract so the Clippers could trade him, reportedly told Doc Rivers and executive vice president of basketball operations Lawrence Frank he didn't plan to return to the team next season. 

"In the view of the tenured players, Austin Rivers never tried to fit in, and when players tried to address the situation with him, he still did not respond the way the core of the team wanted him to," Eaves writes. "One of Paul's biggest contentions with Doc was that Paul, and other players, felt Doc treated Austin more favorably than other players. He would yell at guys for certain things during games and practices, but not get on Austin in the same manner for similar transgressions."

The supposed breaking point for Paul came last season, when Doc Rivers turned down a trade with the Knicks that would've brought Carmelo Anthony and Sasha Vujacic to the Clippers in return for Jamal Crawford, Paul Pierce and Austin Rivers. At that point, Paul reportedly determined that Rivers cared more about keeping his son than improving the team. A league executive told Eaves that Paul "despises" Doc Rivers. 

It's apparent that Austin Rivers may not be the most popular player in NBA circles. In May, Glen "Big Baby" Davis –– a frequent Doc Rivers critic –– took aim at the young point guard after he had called Davis out of shape during an episode of FS1's "Undisputed."

"Your father gave you your money. How can you — like, don’t say [expletive] to me," Davis said in an Instagram video. "Your father gave you your money. You ain’t work for it [expletive]. Type of [expletive]. I was there. I seen you at practice. You didn’t give a [expletive], thinking you all that wearing them tight ass pants and you know, your father gave you all that money, so you can go wear those tight ass pants, but keep your [expletive] mouth closed, man. Shut up, man. You’re a [expletive] bum who’s been given the world. Shut up and just stay under your father.”