Tag Archives: LA Clippers

If Blake Griffin Leaves LA, Blame CP3

Blake Griffin and Chris Paul haven’t always gotten along. Photo Credit: NBA.com

If Blake Griffin leaves the LA Clippers and Chris Paul stays, it’s an indictment on CP3.

The Clippers can offer him the most money. He’s already playing in the second largest market in the U.S. The team has also won .600 percent of their games the last six seasons. So what other reason does he have to leave?

Let me put this in relationship terms. For example, when a man or woman ends a relationship or gets dumped, their friends will say “they weren’t good enough for you.” When the next relationship ends they may say “that’s okay, it wasn’t the right time for you.” After another breakup you might hear, “don’t give up, your perfect match is closer now than ever.”

At a certain point, a true friend should pull that man or woman aside and say “you may be the problem.” I’m looking at the Halle Berry’s, Brad Pitt’s, Elizabeth Taylor’s and Tom Cruise’s of the world. That’s where Paul is now. Head coach Doc Rivers and Clippers owner Steve Ballmer need to pull him aside and say “It’s you.”

Paul has a reputation around the league for being difficult to play with. It was rumored that he was the reason DeAndre Jordan initially signed with the Dallas Mavericks in 2015. According to several reports in the days after the center signed with the Mavs, Jordan grew tired of Paul’s constant barking, petty gestures and freezing him out of the offense.

Current Clipper free agent JJ Redick appears to be a lock to leave this summer. He and Paul have had ugly open disputes on the court during their time in LA. In fact, their dislike goes back to their days as ACC rivals when they played for Duke and Wake Forest.

If Griffin chooses the Oklahoma City Thunder, Houston Rockets or Boston Celtics, all of whom have been rumored to be interested in him, he’s stating clearly he no longer wants to play with Paul. All things considered, those teams aren’t definitively better with him than the Clippers are.

Paul is a future Hall of Famer, and at 32 years old is still a top three-point guard. He is a winner no doubt. He has proved it over the course of his 11-year career with both the New Orleans Hornets and now Clippers. The franchise has never enjoyed the level of success it has currently until he arrived. Therefore there’s no reason to leave that team unless you can’t stand the guy tabbed as the franchise player.

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Happy Mother’s Day Mrs. Rivers

Doc Rivers congratulates his son Austin, as he exits the game. Photo Courtesy: Getty Images

First, Happy Mother’s day to all of the Mother’s out there. We all know that without your sacrifices we wouldn’t be here today. But I want to send a special Mother’s Day wish to Mrs. Rivers.

You’re probably wondering why I’m writing to a lady I’ve never met, and don’t know much about other than she is the wife and mother of Doc and Austin Rivers of the Los Angeles Clippers. I’m writing this because I have a mom, who I love dearly, and I’ve seen the angst she has dealt with when things didn’t always go mine or my brother’s way. I’ve seen her anger and hurt when people talked bad about us or tried to stand in the way of our goals. As Austin Rivers was carving up the Houston Rockets on Friday night, ESPN’s Mike Tirico said during a montage of his highlights “Forget Doc’s son, on this Mother’s day weekend, that’s Kris Rivers’ son.” My thought process immediately went from how cool this is for Doc to be on the sideline watching what his son is doing, to, how great this must be for his mother to watch. Kris Rivers’ husband and son have under gone tremendous scrutiny, and unwarranted venomous remarks since Austin was acquired from the Boston Celtics via trade back in January. I don’t know why. Let me stop lying, actually I do know why. 

It’s because Doc, the Clippers President of Basketball Operations, gave an opportunity to his son to continue living a dream that he’s had since he was a child. Austin was born in 1992 towards the end of his father’s 13 year NBA playing career and then closely followed along as he became one of the most regarded coaches in the game today. Naturally, his son wanted to follow in his footsteps, and his dad has the resources to best help him do that. With that comes all the people who think that Austin is only benefiting because of nepotism. Umm, how is that any different from the many CEOs, managers, supervisors at Fortune 500 companies and businesses in industries across the world who have given their children, nieces, nephews, cousins and even their friends children’s opportunities they didn’t deserve?

The only difference is Austin actually deserves this opportunity. You may have forgotten he was a lottery pick—of the New Orleans Pelicans in 2012—after only one year at Duke. Think about this for a second. He could have been a senior in college this past season. Let remake this point clear. He could have been a senior playing for a National Championship with Duke just back in March. You may have also forgotten, that he was the top ranked high school player in America when he graduated from Winter Park High (FL) just outside Orlando in 2011.  He won the Naismith Prep Player of the Year award, was a McDonald’s All-American and First Team Parade All-American. Then he won Freshman of the Year in the toughest conference in college basketball–according to the pundits–while also earning First Team All-Conference. His resume speaks for itself and solidifies why he was selected 10th overall in his class to play in the NBA.

Now, I know he’s had some bumps in the road since. But, not every one and done prospect comes into the Association completely polished and ready to ascend into the upper echelon right away. So what you’re seeing now from Austin, is him finally figuring out what he can be amongst the world’s best. Hopefully for him, the rest of his career will be more like what we’ve seen in games one and three against the Rockets (17 points and a postseason career high 25 points) and game four against the Spurs (16 points in 17 minutes) in round one.

Photo Courtesy: NBA on TNT

 

But back to Mrs. Rivers. Coach and player have said she has been a “wreck” since Austin became a member of the Clippers. According to Coach Rivers, it was her “blessing” that he needed before acquiring her son. You know why? Because Mama knows, and she had to know this wasn’t going to be received by everyone as the historic, warm and fuzzy story it should be. I can assume she knew the vultures in the media and social media would be lurking to attack her guys. The life of a coaches wife can be difficult. Dealing with fickle fans from day-to-day, constant media scrutiny, their husband’s mood swings with wins and losses, and the countless hours combing through game film, all while they don’t get to have any normal relationship for almost nine months a year. Now you add to that equation your child, your baby boy, is also heavily involved. 

All good mothers are the same; you can say what you want about them, but don’t mess with their family, especially their children or S#*! will get real! This historic situation and the flagrant, insensitive comments have to be draining no matter how strong a person can be. That’s why Austin’s playoffs breakout has to be equally sweet. 

While Doc and Austin won’t admit this coming out party is a big deal to them, it has to be for Mrs. Rivers. On this Mother’s day weekend, you know she can still hear the echoes of the Staples Center crowd chanting her son’s name and giving him a standing ovation when he exited the game Friday night. The vindication she must be feeling right now from seeing her son blossom on the biggest stage has to be the best present she has gotten this year, maybe ever. Doc used his power to revive Austin’s career, that’s a priceless present for a mother to see her child living out their dream. 

No matter what happens to the Clippers moving forward, Austin is shutting up the critics and proving that he belongs in the NBA on his own merits, and that Doc made the right decision trading for him. The rest of you all can keep on hating, while he does what he says his coach and father keeps shouting in his ear “just keep playing.” And, if Austin and the rest of his teammates can keep playing through the calendar flip into June, it could turn out to be a very special Father’s Day too, for Doc. But for now, enjoy your day Mrs. Rivers!