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Report: Chris Paul angry with Clippers because he’s blamed for Del Negro firing

May 31, 2013, 9:07 AM EDT

Chris Paul ,  Vinny Del Negro AP

Vinny Del Negro tried to avoid the question, but it was pretty clear he thought Chris Paul got him fired.

Clippers owner Donald Sterling all but came out and said the reason Del Negro is gone is Paul.

Paul says that is not the case at all — and he is pretty angry that he has been saddled with the blame for Del Negro being let go. That’s what a source told Chris Broussard of ESPN.

“He’s angry right now and his anger is directed toward the Clippers organization,” the source said. “Chris is a man of principle and if he feels like you’ve gone against his principles, it will affect how he feels about you. He’s very agitated that his name has been put out there as the reason for Vinny’s firing. He had nothing to do with it…

“Chris made it abundantly clear to the Clippers that he did not want to be involved in any decision about Vinny’s future,” the source said. “And Blake had nothing to do with it, either.”

Here is the only question that matters: Is this anger enough to push CP3 to another team? He is an unrestricted free agent July 1.

Maybe. But I doubt it in the end. He may well talk to other teams, but. I don’t think he’s leaving $28 million guaranteed on the table, and I don’t think he’s leaving a city he likes. Finally, I don’t think if he goes anywhere else he is going to be closer to a title than he is in Los Angeles.

As for the Del Negro firing and CP3’s involvement, it comes down to which side you believe. Do you really think Paul remained silent?

I think what Paul’s side leaked is his spin after feeling some mud fly his way. Things are not as simple and clean as the Clippers calling up CP3 and saying, “what do you want to do with the coach?” But no move is made without getting the feelings of him and Griffin on the matter. That said there were a lot of people in Clippers management that wanted Del Negro gone, this was far from a CP3 coup.

None the less I think CP3’s fingerprints are all over this. For a year now the Clippers have made front office moves — such as picking up Jamal Crawford and adding other veterans to the roster — at Paul’s suggestion. Owner Sterling really liked Del Negro personally. Despite what others wanted he would not have made this move if CP3 or someone tied to him didn’t nod in assent at the very least, if they didn’t give the emperor’s thumbs up or down.

This isn’t about something Sterling or anyone else said — we all knew already. Well, it didn’t help that Sterling threw him under the bus publicly. Still, you are the star of this team, the free agent they would do anything to keep, if you had said keep Del Negro he’d be here. You didn’t and he’s gone. That’s how it reads, like it or not.

Paul, this is what happens when you are a superstar free agent — you have all the power. Plenty of things come with that. It just is. I know you don’t want the reputation as a coach killer, but the fact is Magic Johnson and more superstars than you can name got a coach fired over the years. Nobody cares. Well, nobody cares long as you win — that is the source of your power. Win and all is ignored. Lose and it is not.

You will be consulted on the replacement — you don’t get to pick him but the team will ask your input. Give it. Then re-sign and move on. And win. If you do that all this is forgiven and forgotten by fans.


  1. skids003 - May 31, 2013 at 9:10 AM

    Chris Boussard’s sources? Yeah, right.

  2. wlubake - May 31, 2013 at 9:20 AM

    Does anyone really think this Clippers team is close to a championship? Unless Griffin develops some sort of shot and morphs into Karl Malone, I just don’t see it. They are a good team, and a fun team. But a championship team? Not without some major overhaul.

    • realfootballfan - May 31, 2013 at 2:39 PM

      This is exactly what I thought when I read that part about him not being close anywhere else. They didn’t make the playoffs until he came to town, and I’m thinking if he does leave, they won’t make them again after he leaves.

      I doubt if Paul had anything to do with Vinny getting fired. He’s not a good coach, just look at what that Bulls team did immediately after he was fired for the gauge of his ability. They went from an 8th seed to the best record in basketball with essentially the same pieces.

      Paul probably didn’t endorse him much like when Mike Brown got fired with Cleveland in a similar spot with James, but it’s weak on his part to try to blame a player because you couldn’t get the job done. He’s talking like he was entitled to the job when the West was as wide open as it’s ever been with the Westbrook injury, and you not only didn’t make it out of the first round, you got run out of the gym after game one of that Memphis series.

      PJ Carlesimo has a better claim to have kept his job than this clown, and I’m hardly a fan of his.

  3. melkipershero - May 31, 2013 at 9:22 AM

    Its hard to take any of these reporters serious when they dont even get how sign and trades work now.

    Simmons had a column talking about the Lakers sign and trading Howard to Houson or GS. LA can only sign and trade Dwight if they only get picks back. They are a tax paying team so they cant get any players back. Dwight can sign the same deal as an outright FA than as a sign and trade. It would only hurt his new team to sign and trade for him.

    Chris B. talked about a Knicks sign and trade for CP3. Again the Knicks are a tax paying team so it wouldnt make sense for the Clippers to accept Knicks garbage for CP3.

    • wlubake - May 31, 2013 at 9:33 AM

      Agreed. There is almost zero understanding of the CBA among major NBA reporters.

      • therealhtj - May 31, 2013 at 12:04 PM

        Over the tax apron teams cannot receive a signed-and-traded player, but they can sign-and-trade one of their own players and receive back players already under contract.

      • wlubake - May 31, 2013 at 5:33 PM

        @therealhtj – The bigger problem is the contract Howard could sign in a sign and trade. It is limited to 4 years, so that 5th guaranteed year goes away. Also, the Bird salary increases go away. This removes the incentive to sign-and-trade for the free agent. At Howard’s price, any team would have to gut itself to trade for him anyway. They’d need $16 in salary going back to the Lakers. Houston couldn’t do it without including Lin, Asik or Harden, which they won’t do.

    • fanofevilempire - May 31, 2013 at 9:54 AM

      thanks for the info, I understand it little better.
      where exactly are those columns, I would like
      to read a little more as a knickerbocker and laker fan.

      • brookwell2013 - May 31, 2013 at 10:00 AM

        Hey fanofevilempire (ha! love the handle!) here’s the link to the Bill Simmons article on D12; he really utilizes the available data to argue that D12 is in an irreversible decline in production….interesting stuff:

      • logisticalvoices - May 31, 2013 at 10:43 AM

        Is that the Bill Simmons article where he blames Dwight Howard’s decline on Rodney King and the LA riots?

    • brookwell2013 - May 31, 2013 at 9:57 AM

      Here’s a link to Larry Coon’s treatise on the new CBA sign and trade rules. As you can see it is exceedingly complex and making trades at this time is very, very tough for teams over the cap: Here you go fellas:

    • firebertjustice - May 31, 2013 at 11:15 AM

      Well, no, that’s not really correct.

      “Starting in 2013-14, the team receiving the player cannot be above the “apron” ($4 million above the tax level) after the trade. A team above the apron can receive a player in a sign-and-trade if the trade reduces the team’s payroll and the team finishes the trade below the apron.”

      So basically, yes, they CAN receive (a) player(s) back as long as they end up *less than 4 million* over the tax level. They can be a taxpaying team and receive players back. They can receive back up to 125% + 100k, so long as they are under that apron.

      As for why the other team does it, perhaps the opposing team has cap space, but not quite enough. Dwight says he wants his full max contract, so they need to send out money to complete it. Bam, trade with the Lakers and you’ve got that space. I’m not looking at the Rockets’ or Warriors’ cap situations, but I’d not be surprised if at least one of them has this issue. And for the Rockets, Dwight and Omer Asik most likely would not be compatible, so it would make all kinds of sense to ship him out.

      As for the Clippers/Knicks idea, I’d agree that it makes no sense. Not really because they can’t get players back, but because the Knicks have 0 leverage to get him in the first place. Suppose the Clippers say no, we don’t want to trade him. Well then, not much the Knicks can do about that.

  4. leearmon - May 31, 2013 at 9:25 AM

    I love Chris Paul’s game, and before this season I thought he was a top 3-4 player in this league. However those feelings are almost rapidly changing. First his flopping is at times too much to handle, plus the fact that his assist % drops considerably in the 4th quarter of games the past two seasons gives me great pause. But maybe the biggest eyebrow raiser to CP3 is the fact he’s only won 2 playoff series in his entire career, and has never even made a conference finals. He’s a great player, but its really time to start questioning if he’s worth all the money, and now, headaches that come with him. He’s gotten two head coaches fired (although Del Negro wasn’t technically fired) and has little to nothing to show for it. Also can someone please tell me how he was 1st team NBA Defense????

    • leearmon - May 31, 2013 at 2:01 PM


      Uhhh my above comment, that most probably can’t see until the middle of June, is like the 4th comment that ive posted that still for whatever reason has not been put up. No cursing, no childish behavior. Just an NBA fan who likes to read and post comments. My original post was at 9:25am, this post is at 2:00pm.

      If you chose not to post my comments (which is your right) can you at least tell me why so I can just go to another blog?

  5. logisticalvoices - May 31, 2013 at 9:38 AM

    Report: Chris Paul angry with Clippers because fans know the truth about coach’s firing

  6. saint1997 - May 31, 2013 at 9:50 AM

    No way he doesn’t re sign. Clips are going to be even better next year – not only after another year of Blake and Jordan developing but because they are going to get a nice little return from Bledsoe (see: Afflalo)

  7. eagles512 - May 31, 2013 at 10:09 AM

    Even if he didn’t say keep him, that’s not enough to blame him.

  8. mat9844 - May 31, 2013 at 10:35 AM

    Slow news day in the NBA??

  9. paulhargis53 - May 31, 2013 at 10:36 AM

    Hey brookwell, thanks for that link!

    Its a must read for nearly every Lakers fan. I don’t expect them to understand it, but I’ve been trying to tell them for months that the nba landscape was changed with the new cba..

    Its there in black and white for them to see.
    I’m sure it won’t stop the foolish trade scenarios they love to throw out there though……

  10. whitdog23 - May 31, 2013 at 10:39 AM

    who’s Blake??

  11. thomaskouns - May 31, 2013 at 11:16 AM

    Not a Sterling fan, but if Paul did try to get Vinny fired, Sterling just did a great favor to the next coach as Paul will think twice about undermining him.

    Those insurance ads of the ‘Paul twins’ might not be so appealing if he solidifies his rep as a coach killer.

  12. edwardemanuelson - May 31, 2013 at 11:28 AM

    Chris Paul is not coachable. I wonder if Cliff is.

    • spankygreen - May 31, 2013 at 3:32 PM

      Especially when you have a coach who, well can’t coach…….

    • dudenny - May 31, 2013 at 7:34 PM

      The late Skip Prosser just channeled me your wrong, EM. :)

  13. kerbyjr1 - May 31, 2013 at 11:42 AM

    Chris Paul always get his way big cry baby

  14. chargerdillon - May 31, 2013 at 12:04 PM

    Ever since Pauls blowup on the mild-mannered Pau Gasol for putting his hand on his head where Paul took it as a gesture of disrespect, it would appear to me that he take criticism the same way he took Gasol “sonnin” him

    He’s a great player with a massive little-man complex. At the same time I can believe it’s entirely possible Donald Sterling would throw his own franchise player under the bus, as history shows Donald Sterling is far and away the worst owner in any sport….EVER!

    I have no doubt CP3 and Blake will both leave the abyss of failure as soon as either of them can.

  15. tipstopten - May 31, 2013 at 12:06 PM

    Clippers are dead meat without CPIII

  16. spankygreen - May 31, 2013 at 3:28 PM

    So the fact that Del Negro sucked at coaching a fairly good team had no bearing on his firing?

    • chargerdillon - May 31, 2013 at 5:54 PM

      Yah he did so bad getting the Clippers to the best record the franchise ever had.

      So now the guy who made these guys work in practice to actually be good got fired, so you can expect their historic return to mediocrity

      If you think Del Negro is a bad coach, you’re clueless.

      • jteng044 - Jun 1, 2013 at 11:47 AM

        @chargerdillon – You only look at the record. The numbers lie. If you watch the actual games, you could see that in the first half of the season, the team won merely on talent. The organized chaos of a newly built bench affected teams who were unable to scout them or had played a rough schedule, etc. After the ASG, teams took away LAC’s ability to generate turnovers to get out on the fast break and executed their offense better in the half court by reversing the ball movement. The half-court offense, though highly effective because of CP3 and Jamal Crawford in isolation situations, often broke down to isolation situations because a VDN offense consists of pick and roll over and over until something materializes or you have 7 seconds left on the shot clock and you have to have an isolation bail out shot. The defense had no identity or philosophy. CHI’s philosophy was to deny middle and to drive all pick and roll ball handlers to the sideline and baseline while giving up long 2’s to force opponents to make tough shots. With LAC, no such thing and especially against MEM in the playoffs, no adjustments. VDN also marginalized his two of his young core players in Jordan and Bledsoe. Jordan never got consistency in minutes and reps (especially in 4th quarters) throughout the regular season to work through his mistakes and learn from them so that he could be effective in the playoffs. You saw the result of his hard work in the first month of the season when he was posting a double double basically every other night and playing engaged defense. The Clippers need to run more plays through him and give him touches 2-3 times per quarter. In marginalizing Bledsoe, the team’s best perimeter defender, he should have gotten more than the 16 minutes per game that he averaged this year especially by taking the minutes of the largely ineffective Chauncey Billups and Caron Butler. In game 6, Jamal Crawford only played 12 minutes while Bledsoe played 5. That is inexcusable and inexplicable. In conclusion, VDN IS a bad coach.

  17. spankygreen - May 31, 2013 at 3:37 PM

    News Flash…… can anyone imagine Phil Jackson,… Popovich or any number of Good coaches being fired because of any one or even two players…….If you have No skills as a coach then you are open to players getting you fired…..My take is that the owners wanted to fire you anyway but just lacked the balls to tell you….So what better way than to say it was totally due to a player……..

    • wtfruthinkn - May 31, 2013 at 5:55 PM

      News Flash…Jerry Sloan

  18. cullenand99 - May 31, 2013 at 4:07 PM

    CP3 should come back to New Orleans.

  19. fearthehoody - May 31, 2013 at 6:58 PM

    And if you think Ol Vinny is a good coach (chargerdillion) I got some swamp land in Jersey to talk to you about!

  20. jerdogthompson - May 31, 2013 at 8:09 PM

    It’s fun to watch all the clipper haters come out of the wood work with a story started by “Laker” lover CB. Who’s Chris’s “source”? It’s his alter ego that’s who. Lame piece of journalism period……..

    Better yet, Dwight hasn’t spoken so therefore let’s try this. Put it this way D12 has a much greater chance of bolting than CP3. If CP3 bolts then good riddance. We have EB and can fill in the blanks. We will still be ahead of the Fakers the next 5-6 years. Word.

  21. dudenny - May 31, 2013 at 8:13 PM

    Speculation, some stupid comments by the owner, an unnamed source and writers looking to make up ‘news.’

  22. rushbacker - Jun 1, 2013 at 3:07 AM

    Lol. Chris Paul is such a little diva. He wants to be involved in the decision-making process, but absolved of any responsibility. “I’m the star, so I’ll take all the credit when things go well– somebody else can take the blame when they don’t.”

  23. louhudson23 - Jun 1, 2013 at 3:58 AM

    Paul would do better for his team and himself to worry about leading his team on the practice floor and in the locker room and not the front office….demanding preparation and improvement ,with clear expectations and consequences are what leaders bring to teams(no matter who the coach is)…..watching the Clips do the same old song and dance should drive Paul up the wall and create hell in the locker room for those who don’t get on board….instead,it’s all about the next contract and whether to collect or move on….

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