Doc Rivers denies DeAndre Jordan and Chris Paul had strained rapport
Clippers Coach Doc Rivers addressed the rumors that DeAndre Jordan and Chris Paul have a strained relationship in a radio interview with the Beast 980 on Thursday.
“I can put this to rest: They get along great,” Rivers told the radio show, via Arash Markazi of ESPN. “Clearly, like everybody, they don’t get along all the time, and they don’t get along with me all the time, either, by the way.
“I don’t see that as an issue. I think all three, and I’m including Blake [Griffin] in this as well, understand how important the other guy is to them. Meaning, they all three need each other to win, and I think all three get that and all three know that and all three want to do it together. To me, that’s the most important thing.”
After the Clippers’ second-round collapse, there was bound to be some discord among the team -- or at least rumors of discord. The Clippers had a 3-1 series lead over the Rockets before losing three games in a row, allowing the Rockets to become just the ninth team in NBA history to recover from such a deficit to advance to the next round. In the radio interview, Rivers acknowledged that he took the loss hard.
“I don’t say this often, and I don’t want to disrespect Houston at all, but when you actually feel like you were the better team or you had a chance to clearly close it out yourself, it makes it a lot tougher,” Rivers said.
“Other than Game 7 of the Celtics-Lakers [series in the 2010 NBA Finals], those two games back to back [Games 6 and 7 against Houston] were the toughest I’ve ever been involved in, but it doesn’t stop me. I’m more energized today. I love this group, and I think we’re right there and we’re going to get there and we’re not going to stop trying.”
Even though the Clippers have never advanced past the second-round of the playoffs despite having Paul, Jordan and Griffin for four seasons, Rivers has said that he doesn’t want to make changes to the nucleus of the team.
Rivers pointed out that Jordan and Griffin are only 26, and that Michael Jordan and LeBron James didn’t win their first NBA championships until they were 27.
“We’re right on schedule,” Rivers said.
Follow Melissa Rohlin on Twitter @melissarohlin
Get our high school sports newsletter
Prep Rally is devoted to the SoCal high school sports experience, bringing you scores, stories and a behind-the-scenes look at what makes prep sports so popular.
You may occasionally receive promotional content from the Los Angeles Times.