According to ESPN.com's Ramona Shelburne, Rivers also acknowledged the Clippers weren't getting the job done as constructed: "That part is over. And that bugs me. But we're not done trying to reach our goal. Sometimes you gotta do it a different way."
On Wednesday, the Clippers traded Paul to the Houston Rockets for Patrick Beverley, Lou Williams, Sam Dekker, DeAndre Liggins, Kyle Wiltjer, Darrun Hilliard, Montrezl Harrell, a top-three-protected first-round pick next season and $661,000.
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After Paul was traded, ESPN anchor Michael Eaves said in a Facebook post that Rivers' coddling of his son, guard Austin Rivers, was a significant factor in Paul's decision to leave.
Doc disagreed, saying:
"Let's not make this story about Blake [Griffin] and [DeAndre Jordan] and Austin. This story is about Chris leaving. He is the one that decided to leave. That doesn't make him a villain. He had the right to do that. And I have no problem with that. That's what free agency is.
Was I disappointed with his decision? Yeah. I thought he had a better chance to win with us. He didn't agree with that. And that's fine too. ... But ain't nobody at fault. The fault is we didn't do well enough to keep him. We played a role in that. In not winning. But Chris was part a that too. He was on that team that didn't win."
In six seasons with Paul on the team and four seasons under Rivers, the Clippers never missed the playoffs.
Despite their regular-season success, L.A. was unable to get past the second round of the playoffs in the Western Conference. With Paul out of the picture, the Clips must now shift their focus toward trying to sign Blake Griffin or rebuilding.