The Los Angeles Clippers had title aspirations once they acquired Chris Paul from New Orleans in December of 2011. Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan developed into All-Star talents with Paul, but they were rarely healthy at the same time in playoffs and also suffered some hard losses.
The era ended when Paul decided to orchestrate an opt-in and trade to the Rockets this past offseason.
“The vision that I had, I was going to win a title with Chris, Blake and D.J. and whoever else we had in that group. We obviously never got that done. My goals haven’t changed. I don’t coach for any other reason,” Doc Rivers told The Vertical. “Sometimes you change because you want to. Sometimes, it’s forced change. But at the end of the day, most of the time, change is good. Whether you want it or not. We’ve done a lot of winning, we just weren’t a winner. At some point, you’ve got to come to the realization with that group, you’re probably not going to be a winner. If you’re good enough, you better break through, because if you don’t do it, there are no guarantees in this game. Maybe we weren’t good enough.”
"There wasn’t a lot of joy. And not just me. I don’t think for anybody. I think it’s one of the reasons Chris left," said J.J. Redick. "That’s not a knock on anybody. I just didn’t feel like we had fun playing together. … I also think in that stretch of time, the league changed. The philosophy of the league changed. The way the Warriors played and even the way the Rockets played changed. By the end, I don’t know that we had enough firepower to knock those teams off. It’s math.”