Austin Rivers Called Chris Paul over 'Bulls--t' Rumors About Clippers Tension

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistJuly 11, 2017

MINNEAPOLIS, MN - MARCH 08: Austin Rivers #25 and Chris Paul #3 of the Los Angeles Clippers react to a call during the first quarter of the game against the Minnesota Timberwolves on March 8, 2017 at the Target Center in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The Timberwolves defeated the Clippers 107-91. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images)
Hannah Foslien/Getty Images

After rumors of issues between Chris Paul and Austin Rivers surfaced following CP3's trade from the Los Angeles Clippers to the Houston Rockets, Paul and Rivers discussed the situation in a phone conversation.

According to Sam Amick of USA Today, Rivers offered an account of the discussion:

"I called Chris and was like, 'Chris, what’s going on?' Chris is like, 'This is the biggest bull[expletive] I've ever seen in my life.' Chris was just like, 'This is a joke.' So I asked him, I'm like, 'You don't need to come out and say nothing publicly, I don't need you to do that. It's just going to make it even more, now they're going to drag it out two more days. I'll take it. I don't care. I've been dealing with this [dynamic] since I was six [years old]. I really don't even care.'"

ESPN SportsCenter anchor Michael Eaves wrote on Facebook following the trade that Clippers head coach Doc Rivers' favoritism toward his son, Austin, was a contributing factor in Paul's desire to leave.

While there was no shortage of theories why Paul opted to leave L.A., Austin Rivers said it was simply a case of wanting a new challenge and a change of scenery: "What do I have to do with someone else's move? Chris wanted to move because he'd been [with the Clippers] for a while. He's had great years there, but he wanted something new. A lot of players want that. It's really that simple."

Rather than allowing Paul to walk for no return, the Clippers traded him to Houston for a sizable package of players and picks that included guards Lou Williams and Patrick Beverley, and forwards Sam Dekker and Montrezl Harrell.

The 32-year-old Paul spent six seasons with the Clippers, and although he made five All-Star teams during that time, L.A. never advanced past the second round of the playoffs.

Rivers came to the Clippers in a trade from the New Orleans Pelicans in 2014-15, and although the father-son dynamic with Doc has led to criticism, he has grown as a player with the Clips.

The former Duke standout averaged a career-high 12.0 points and 2.8 assists per game last season, and he promises to be a significant part of L.A.'s backcourt in 2017-18 with CP3 out of the equation.