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Chris Paul said to be ‘angry’ with Clippers over Vinny Del Negro reports

Chris Paul ClippersChris Paul is “angry” with the Los Angeles Clippers over the perception that he was responsible for the team getting rid of Vinny Del Negro as head coach, ESPN reports.

Del Negro was informed by the team last week that they would not retain him despite leading the team to a 56-26 season. Yahoo! Sports, CBS Sports, and the Los Angeles Times all indicated that Paul was dissatisfied with Del Negro and/or wanted a different coach. Team owner Donald Sterling even indicated to the LA Times’ T.J. Simers that Del Negro was let go to increase the team’s chances of retaining Paul, who will be a free agent.

The speculation that Del Negro was let go in order to increase the team’s chance at retaining Paul was prevalent last week after the Del Negro news was announced. The issue came back up this week when Del Negro conducted an interview with Dan Patrick and hinted CP3 had a role in his firing.

All the talk about him costing Del Negro the job supposedly has the all-star point guard upset.

“He’s angry right now and his anger is directed toward the Clippers organization,” a source told ESPN. “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.”

ESPN’s source said neither Paul nor Blake Griffin were involved in the decision to dismiss Del Negro. Moreover, the source said the front office decided to make the change on their own after having disagreements with the coach during the season. ESPN also says that Del Negro feels Paul got him fired.

Paul will be a free agent on July 1 and was long believed to be highly likely to re-sign with the Clippers. There is a possibility that this issue over the perception that he was responsible for Del Negro’s dismissal could cause him to sign with another team.

Vinny Del Negro hints Chris Paul’s free agency had role in him losing job

Vinny Del NegroVinny Del Negro was not brought back as head coach of the Los Angeles Clippers after three mostly successful seasons with the franchise. Multiple reports and the comments of team owner Donald Sterling have indicated the Clippers decided not to bring back Del Negro because they felt hiring a new coach would give them the best shot at retaining Chris Paul, who is a free agent.

During an interview on “The Dan Patrick Show” on Tuesday, Del Negro was asked point blank about how much of a role he thought CP3′s free agency played in the Clippers not bringing him back. Del Negro seemed to subtly admit Paul wanted a new coach while boasting about what the point guard accomplished under his watch.

“Well, Chris is a free agent. They were compelled to make a decision. He’s entitled to his opinion. But he made first-team All-NBA both seasons on defense and on offense, and I believe that’s the first time he’s done that in his career. We set every franchise record. In saying that, he’s a free agent and he’s going to have a lot of say so on a lot of things as he did the previous summer when we put the team together,” said Del Negro.

Patrick turned it up a notch and asked Del Negro about CP3 more directly.

“Do you think Chris Paul did not want you back?” he asked.

“Oh I don’t know. I don’t think I need to get into that. It’s behind me,” Del negro answered.

Del Negro then complimented the job he and his staff did with the team.

“They’re positioned for success in the future. There’s no question you have to have a long-term view. They were compelled to make a decision that they felt was in the best interest of their team. However it went down it doesn’t matter.

“Obviously the Clippers’ history is the Clippers’ history, but I’m proud of what we did there the last few seasons. They’re positioned to be successful for a long time now, which I’m proud of. I give my staff and all my assistant coaches a tremendous amount of credit.”

It seems to me that Del Negro acknowledged the situation without directly admitting Paul was behind the firing. I agree with the team’s decision not to bring him back, but how can you not at least feel a little betrayed to hear that your star player preferred to have a new coach?

Chris Paul reportedly wanted a different coach for Clippers

Chris-Paul-ClippersThe Los Angeles Clippers decided not to bring back Vinny Del Negro as their head coach, and the upcoming free agency situation with Chris Paul may have a lot to do with it.

Paul, who completed his second season with the Clippers and finished fourth in league MVP voting, will be a free agent this summer. He reportedly supported a coaching change.

Yahoo! Sports’ Adrian Wojnarowski reports that Paul “wanted a new coach.”

CBS Sports’ Ken Berger says Paul “was not a fan” of Del Negro.

The Los Angeles Times’ Broderick Turner says Paul and Blake Griffin liked Del Negro personally but had doubts about his ability to lead the team to a championship.

It seems like the reports were pretty strong across the board that CP3 supported a change.

Even though the Clippers were highly successful in December and won all their game that month as part of a franchise-record 17-game winning streak, they lost in the first-round of the playoffs. It’s likely that a better coach would be able to get more from this talented team.

Names being mentioned in connection with the head coaching job include Lionel Hollins, Jeff and/or Stan Van Gundy, Byron Scott, Larry Drew, and Alvin Gentry. Current NBA assistants Mike Malone (Warriors) and Mike Budenholzer (Spurs) have also been mentioned.

Joey Crawford ejects Chris Paul, Zach Randolph at end of game

Joey Crawford wasn’t content letting the final minutes of Game 6 between the Memphis Grizzlies and Los Angeles Clippers play out. Oh no. The veteran NBA referee decided he had to make himself a central story.

Crawford decided to eject Chris Paul with 2:29 left in the game. Tayshaun Prince was at the line and made his second of two free throws to put the Grizzlies up 113-99. After the second free throw, Paul and Matt Barnes sandwiched Marc Gasol who was in the lane. Paul ran up and rammed into Gasol with his elbow first. It was a physical play, but it didn’t seem to deserve an ejection. Either way, Crawford gave Paul a technical and tossed him.

Chris Paul Marc Gasol

“I don’t understand how you can throw Chris out of the game,” coach Vinny Del Negro said after the game. “Unless it’s something incredibly flagrant — which it wasn’t.”

Paul said his team had a small lineup on the floor and that he was going down to help box out Gasol.

After his ejection, CP3 gave a hug to Prince, Zach Randolph, and Jerryd Bayless before leaving the court.

Then with 1:57 left in the game, Crawford tossed Randolph. Mike Conley was at the line and getting ready for his second of two free throws when Crawford ejected Z-Bo. No real reason was given for the ejection.

The Grizzlies went on to win the game 118-105, but Crawford’s officiating was suspect. Chris Paul’s brother, CJ Paul, accused Crawford of having a role in fixing the end of the game:

With such a quick trigger, is there any surprise some Spurs players pretended to shoot a fake Crawford on Halloween? He really had no business ejecting those players, but that’s Joey Crawford.

In all, there were seven technical fouls called, two ejections, and the Grizzlies shot 47 free throws compared to 24 for the Clippers.

Chris Paul nails game-winning shot at buzzer for Clippers (Video)

Chris Paul winnerHaving Chris Paul on your roster is the difference between winning and losing games like this. CP3 led the Clippers with 24 points and nine assists, and he took over in the final minutes to lead Los Angeles to a 93-91 win in Game 2 over the Memphis Grizzlies on Monday.

Paul got the ball with seven seconds left on the team’s final possession. He was being guarded by the notoriously difficult defender Tony Allen by the top of the circle. He made a move to the basket, pushed off Allen, and then threw up a shot despite Allen and Darrell Arthur putting hands in his face. Somehow the difficult shot went off the glass at the buzzer to win the game.

In addition to the winning shot, Paul broke an 89-89 tie a minute earlier with another difficult shot, and he made jumpers on previous possessions to increase the Clippers’ lead. In all, CP3 accounted for the Clippers’ final eight points.

CP3 is known for being an excellent distributor, but his greatest asset is knowing what he needs to do to help his team win. On Monday, he realized his team needed him to score and he delivered. What a game. And based on the way Game 2 went, would anyone be surprised if Memphis evened the series at home?

The best part of Paul’s winning shot was his reaction. While everyone was celebrating like they had won the series, Paul seemed to shrug it off as if he knew the team still had many more difficult games ahead. How can you not love the focus?

Chris Paul exhibited unbelievable hang time on this crazy shot (Video)

Chris Paul shot NetsChris Paul took over during the fourth quarter of the Los Angeles Clippers’ 101-95 win over the Brooklyn Nets Saturday at Staples Center, scoring 17 of his 29 points in the period, including an incredible shot to seal the win with 22 seconds left.

Paul went around Deron Williams and stopped in the key to take a shot with 22 seconds left and the Clippers up 94-92. After realizing that both Reggie Evans and Brook Lopez had their hands up to block his attempt, Paul pulled the ball down, waited for their hands to clear, and let go of the ball just before he hit the ground. His shot went in, and he was fouled and went to the line to complete the 3-point play.

That was easily one of the most incredible double-clutches I have seen. It might even make up for his embarrassing flop during the week.

H/T LBS contributor Gene

Chris Paul makes pathetic flop attempt against Kings (Video)

Chris Paul flopChris Paul is a tough leader on the floor, but the Los Angeles Clippers point guard can also be somewhat dramatic. During the third quarter of the Clippers’ 116-101 loss to the Kings Tuesday, CP3 bumped into Sacramento center DeMarcus Cousins and flew backwards as if Boogie Cousins had pushed him. The video clearly shows that Paul was purely acting.

The look on CP3′s face was priceless when he attempted to con the refs. Guy goes down like he just tore his ACL. Meanwhile, Cousins looks on with a look of disgust on his face, as if to say, “What the heck you trying to pull?” Luckily Paul didn’t get the call. Too bad the Clippers weren’t playing the Warriors, because then we could have gotten an amazing reaction to the flop attempt just like this one.

Via Reddit