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Chris Paul: Doc Rivers told me I’m nothing

Oct 1, 2013, 9:45 AM EDT

Chris Paul

I can’t stand the championship-or-bust ethos in the NBA.

Plenty of great players have never won titles, and many more bad players have. Of course, championships should remain a piece of the puzzle when evaluating players, but only a piece and definitely not the largest piece.

The same issue exists on a team level, too. I just don’t accept that only one team succeeds and the other 29 fail each each season.

However, I see why Doc Rivers disagrees.

The value placed on championships has treated Rivers’ well. Without his 2008 title coaching the Celtics, Rivers probably doesn’t have a $7 million-per-year contract and probably can’t force his way from a rebuilding team to a contender.

Rivers is a good coach, but his championship took his career to a new level. Now, he’s trying to use the title to take Chris Paul and the Clippers to a new level.

Marc Spears of Yahoo Sports:

Chris Paul’s NBA résumé is highlighted with several elite individual accomplishments. But that didn’t stop new Los Angeles Clippers coach Doc Rivers from letting his star point guard know in their first face-to-face meeting that he’s lacking one major prize.An NBA championship.”As professional athletes, you always want someone to push you and motivate you,” Paul said. “The first meeting I had with Doc, he pretty much told me I wasn’t anything. He told me I hadn’t done anything in this league, and he was right. You don’t always want somebody that’s going to tell you what you want to hear.”

Rivers, because of his championship, has the cache to speak to Paul that way. If Rivers hadn’t won a title himself, even if he possessed the exact same coaching ability but hadn’t been blessed with as good of players, there’s no way Paul would accept such a message.The rest of Spears’ article contains quotes from Paul and Rivers gushing about each other, so their relationship is clearly in a good place.If Rivers can use this ridiculous criticism to push Paul, that’s great. But make no mistake: the criticism is ridiculous.Paul is the NBA’s best point guard, and he shouldn’t need a championship to keep that title.

  1. shuttaman1990 - Oct 1, 2013 at 9:51 AM

    He’s a flopper, of course he’s nothing but a big flopper.

    • zacksdad - Oct 1, 2013 at 10:42 AM

      Even worse, he is a Clipper under ownership of Sterling.

      • bobfell - Oct 1, 2013 at 11:10 AM

        ha ha. Can’t stand having your team lose to the Clippers. Better get used to it.

      • Wammy Giveaway - Oct 1, 2013 at 11:28 AM

        Super worse: the owner of the Clippers has helped the Lakers, starting with a $1 million loan in 1979 to support his best friend, who was the greatest owner in all of sports. Talk about choosing your friends!

      • asimonetti88 - Oct 1, 2013 at 5:28 PM

        bobfell
        ha ha. Can’t stand having your team lose to the Clippers.

        Sterling is a slum lord who has made racist and discriminatory rental practices his M.O. He withdrew $50 million in pledged money to homeless charities in LA and then used that same money to purchase land away from a homeless shelter for his own real estate purposes.

        Donald Sterling is the definition of POS and I don’t understand how anyone could support that team as long as he is the owner.

    • bobfell - Oct 1, 2013 at 11:14 AM

      and yet other people got fined for flopping , i don’t think Paul was even warned. So maybe it is just YOUR perception.

    • shanydawg - Oct 1, 2013 at 12:03 PM

      oh STOP IT! it’s so WEAK that anyone people don’t like anymore is called a flopper. wake up… THEY ALL FLOP! EVERY LAST ONE OF THEM! if you’re so obsessed with flopping – watch soccer.

      • shuttaman1990 - Oct 1, 2013 at 12:38 PM

        Are you kidding me?
        Like for real?
        Dude Chris Paul is the BIGGEST OF EM ALL
        STOP SMOKING THOSE DRUGS AND TAKE THOSE CLIPPER SHADES OFF YOUR EYES

        CP3 IS THE BIGGEST FLOPPER IN THE NBA TODAY, and this should make him not eligible for anything. He will never win anything flopping like this.

        Stop catching feelings just because I’m telling the truth bro.

      • shuttaman1990 - Oct 1, 2013 at 12:39 PM

        and I mean eligible for anything Hall of Fame related.

      • sprint32 - Oct 1, 2013 at 9:23 PM

        All players flop and Paul has been fined for flopping. Disagreeing with u is not catching feelings. And your opinion is not a fact so its not the truth. People who can’t articulate their argument resort to name calling

  2. stayhigh_247 - Oct 1, 2013 at 10:45 AM

    Peyton Manning is by far the best QB in the NFL, but without that ring non of that really matters. John Stockton was one of the best guards of his era but without the trophy, regardless of his other accolades, he’s still in another tier. The best players win rings, fair or unfair, it’s just the way it is.

    • datboycassius - Oct 1, 2013 at 11:53 AM

      Ummmmm…Last time I checked, Peyton DOES have a ring – 2006 – ring any bells?

    • bine646 - Oct 1, 2013 at 12:01 PM

      Good thing for peyton that he won that superbowl then

      • sprint32 - Oct 1, 2013 at 9:29 PM

        Brady has had better all around teams. Peyton does choke. He can’t control what the other 21 players do on the field. Brady is not a better player than Peyton just had better teams

    • reastnt - Oct 1, 2013 at 12:16 PM

      In boxing, yes. In team sports, no.

    • sasquash20 - Oct 1, 2013 at 12:38 PM

      Brady is better then Manning. Manning chokes in the playoffs every year. And if he chokes this year with all the players he has now, I may drop him down to 3rd or 4th.

    • whereyaat - Oct 1, 2013 at 2:13 PM

      Using your logic, Dorsey Levens was the best RB in 1996 because he has a ring, and should have been drafted way above that Barry Sanders guy, who was clearly JAG.

      Lazy sportswriters make careers feeding this faulty logic to you. To paraphrase Mark Cuban, this “championships are the only true measure of a player” load is manufactured by lazy sportswriters (and radio) guys who don’t want to do any real analysis. I like the writers on this site just fine, but I get the impression that some folks in the sports media would not know where to start with real basketball analysis.

    • broncobeta - Oct 1, 2013 at 2:41 PM

      Manning has a Super Bowl ring.

    • detroitbasketballfan - Oct 1, 2013 at 9:11 PM

      Hard to win a playoff series when blake puts up a monster 13.0 ppg in the first and harder to blame paul wheb he singlehandedly won them game 2. Pauls main job is as a distributor eveb though he is a capable inside and outside scorer.

      Game 2 was a classic though conley an up n coming pg of the future and a still potent chris paul trading one hand scoop layups

    • sprint32 - Oct 1, 2013 at 9:26 PM

      Not necessarily true. Great players sometimes can spend their whole career on a bad team… Barry Sanders

  3. chargerdillon - Oct 1, 2013 at 10:53 AM

    Hate to break it to these guys……they are not even close to the talent level and ability of play of a Pacers or Heat.

    Does anybody remember the Memphis bullying these guys right out of the playoffs? Memphis, not one of the major title contenders but MEMPHIS.

    They don’t have the physicality to run with the bigdogs in the NBA. I like the Clippers, they are totally fun to watch, but they are by no means going to win a championship.

    • bobfell - Oct 1, 2013 at 11:13 AM

      I guess you forgot about 2012 when the team beat Memphis. Hate to break it to you but this team is much better. Last years team beat Miami and many of the other “bigdogs” now they have the 3 point shooting to free things up inside.Watch out

      • sprint32 - Oct 1, 2013 at 9:32 PM

        And Heat beat them. Clippers r 5thbest team in west

    • adamsjohn714 - Oct 1, 2013 at 11:14 AM

      They were good last year and made pretty good moves this offseason (outside of Mullens). I’d say they have a reasonable shot. By no means the best, but certainly not laughable, like the Warriors or Brooklyn.

      • spursareold - Oct 1, 2013 at 3:28 PM

        A reasonable shot at what? Losing to OKC or SAS in the WCFs? Because that is their ceiling. They’re the new Suns: always exciting in the regular season, but flawed defensively and always a bridesmaid in the post season.

    • paleihe - Oct 1, 2013 at 11:17 AM

      Memphis was in the conference finals. That’s a pretty good team.

  4. yankeepunk3000 - Oct 1, 2013 at 11:00 AM

    but that is logical thinking. same thing with LeBron. even with the 4 MVPs 10 scoring titles greatest all around player of our time without those rings people will still say a handfull of players at this moment are better. Is Derek fisher better since he has 4 rings? no because that’s ludicrous way of thinking

    • daveoo - Oct 1, 2013 at 11:17 AM

      Fisher has 5 rings

    • therealhtj - Oct 1, 2013 at 12:18 PM

      Lebron’s only won the scoring title once.

  5. nuken - Oct 1, 2013 at 11:59 AM

    He’s wrong Chris Paul, you are less than nothing…. If nothing had a bag full of nothing, you would be that bag.

  6. thatstinks - Oct 1, 2013 at 12:03 PM

    Doc couldn’t lead the Hawks to the title with more talent than the Clippers have now . So was Doc a failure as a pg ?

    • ranfan12 - Oct 1, 2013 at 2:16 PM

      Lol, I still remember him talking about being benched for taking a floater back in the day. Now it’s a part of game haha

  7. onlyavoice - Oct 1, 2013 at 12:04 PM

    Doc Hasn’t Done Anything Without KG, Pierce & Allen.
    I Don’t Expect Him Or The Clips To Be Serious Contenders.
    The Clips Are The West’s Version Of The Knicks.

    • adamsjohn714 - Oct 1, 2013 at 12:50 PM

      well, minus the fact that they picked up good players in the offseason, including drafting a much better player at the same position just one pick after them.

  8. losanginsight - Oct 1, 2013 at 12:17 PM

    Coming from an overrated coach that has 1 ring. In on ear out the other. Flop city needs to go back to back to back to back to back before they get any respect in LA.

  9. losanginsight - Oct 1, 2013 at 12:22 PM

    @stayhigh247 Petyon Manning has a ring Ring Big guy.

  10. sasquash20 - Oct 1, 2013 at 12:41 PM

    The problem with the Clippers is Griffin and Jordan are to soft defensively.

  11. edwardemanuelson - Oct 1, 2013 at 2:01 PM

    Tony Parker > Chris Paul

    • paleihe - Oct 1, 2013 at 5:22 PM

      Spurs > Clippers

      Paul > Parker

  12. openseason51 - Oct 1, 2013 at 3:32 PM

    Chris Paul is nothing unless he takes his team to the NBA Finals and WINS.

  13. ProBasketballPundit - Oct 1, 2013 at 4:29 PM

    I love Chris Paul, but I’m starting to wonder if ball-dominating point guards can be successful in the NBA. Steven Nash never went to the Finals, Chris Paul may never go either. Obviously Magic Johnson & Oscar Robertson had a lot of success but both of them had Kareem to rely on and played in a faster paced era. Maybe it’s not good for your best player to be your PG…

    • antistratfordian - Oct 1, 2013 at 4:40 PM

      Before Magic there was a maxim in the NBA that said it was bad for one player to average so many assists because it meant the ball wasn’t moving around enough. Same thing before MJ and the idea that the team with the scoring leader would not being able to win the title.

      I think in general these are still reliable principles. There are always exceptions – but the problem is that every player thinks they’re the exception.

  14. antistratfordian - Oct 1, 2013 at 4:34 PM

    Hmm. I wonder what Doc would say to John Stockton.

    This approach wouldn’t sit well with me as a player – If I was Chris Paul I’d respond to Doc by saying 1) I’m about 1000x better than you were 2) Who do you think you are? Phil Jackson? Erik freakin’ Spoelstra has more rings than you do and 3) If I was playing with KG, PP and Ray Allen I would’ve won more than 1 ring.

    I like Doc less and less each day.

  15. teedraper - Oct 3, 2013 at 7:34 AM

    Feldman,

    No cares in what you can’t stand. We are not here to read your opinions. Just report the facts & STFU!

    • Kurt Helin - Oct 6, 2013 at 10:55 AM

      Actually, there is opinion in virtually every article on this site, by design. If you want AP style info, this is not the site for you.

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