Doc Rivers: J.J. Redick was ‘begging’ to return to Clippers; Redick: ‘I didn’t want to come back’

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Since leaving the Clippers, J.J. Redick and Chris Paul have both criticized the team’s culture.

So, Clippers coach Doc Rivers – who presided over the Paul-Redick era before losing his front-office title – is left to defend his team.

Zach Lowe of ESPN:

Rivers has seen Paul’s remarks about the team’s culture. “Who controls the culture?” he asks. “The players. Always the players. And even with Chris’ comments, he thought about coming back. J.J. [Redick] was begging to come back.”

(Redick disagrees. “There was never any indication from my agent that I wanted to go back,” he says. “I didn’t beg to come back. I didn’t want to come back.”)

This might be a matter of timing. At one point, it appeared Redick would return to L.A. But soon after the season, it became clear he would depart.

But it might simply each side presenting its preferred narrative.

The Clippers want to attract future star free agents, so they need to defend their culture. But they also want to show they won’t disparage any future stars after they leave, so it’s important to maintain decent terms with Paul and Redick. Rivers is walking a narrow line, and he probably went too far with “begging.”

Nobody wants to be seen as desperate. Redick is proud, and so he one-upped Rivers by saying he didn’t want to return at all.

Whether borne out of genuine misunderstanding of the other side’s actions or deliberate mischaracterization, it’s fascinating to see the spin at work here.