Prior to becoming a SportsCenter anchor, ESPN's Michael Eaves spent a decade in Los Angeles with Fox Sports. Among his duties was serving as the anchor for Clippers Live, the network's pre- and postgame shows for its Clippers coverage. Eaves has a presence in L.A., in other words, as well as credibility when it comes to understanding how the team operates.
It's important to know all of that going in because, in the wake of this morning's Chris Paul trade, Eaves sprinkled some kernels of knowledge on his Facebook page about the fulcrums that engineered Paul's exit. The whole thing is worth a read but, according to Eaves, CP3 and grown increasingly frustrated with head coach and president of basketball operations Doc Rivers, and his breaking point was a nixed deal that could have brought Carmelo Anthony to Los Angeles:
New York offered Carmelo and Sasha Vujacic to the Clippers in exchange for Jamal Crawford, Paul Pierce and Austin Rivers, a deal to which Rivers ultimately said no. That event led Paul to feel that keeping his son on the roster was more important to Doc than improving the team. So, ultimately, Paul lost both trust and faith in Doc. As one league executive put it, "Chris despises Doc."
This scenario is so mind-bogglingly dumb for both parties that I can't even decide which aspect is the most preposterous. Phil Jackson's unrepentant loathing of Anthony was clothed in the thinnest possible veil but it takes a special degree of hatred to decide, yes, it is definitely smart business to trade a marketable star and one of the better pure scorers in the NBA for a 37-year-old swingman, a subpar combo guard and the rotting husk of Paul Pierce.
On the other side is Rivers, who determined that, no, we should definitely not accept this bountiful harvest in exchange for a crate of spoiled canned goods. Nepotism is a heavy charge to throw around, especially when Austin Rivers has previously gone on record claiming that he and his father are not close outside of basketball. Yet even when taking Anthony's flaws and contract status into account, there is seemingly no plausible explanation for turning this down other than nepotism.
Which, of course, might mean that it's bogus after all. No two teams could collaborate to produce this much stupidity...right?