Chris Paul: Doc Rivers Told Me I'm Nothing

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pageC4
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Chris Paul: Doc Rivers told me I'm nothing Dan Feldman Oct 1, 2013, 9:45 AM EDT 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....

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loyalclipfan
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Well, doc is right, you are not anything in this league unless you are part of a championship team. Until that happens, second place gets you nothing, especially 8 years later in your nba....

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CP3Heliflopter
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Repped High Quality Post

So basically you can only become something in the nba if you are lucky.

Norris Cole won two rings in only two seasons in the nba. Potential GOAT right here! Look at all those rings!

Winning championships is a team achievement. If you don't get the proper supporting cast and if you aren't lucky you won't win a ring. Even if you have a great supporting cast and you play at an amazing level thre is no guarantee. If the players get injured in the PS or don't play up to par its meaningless and you will lose. There is a great deal of luck that is involved. Individual performance actually plays a relatively small role in the big picture. For example, even if you were MJ on steroids you would never win a title on the Bobcats.

I will take CP3's career over the career of Billups(FMVP winner) any day thank you very much.

Using your logic any benchwarmer scrub on a championship team is a winner.

lobcityhawaii
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Agree with you here CP3. Mark Madsen who won multiple rings with the Lakers isn't better or worth more than CP3. I would bet that majority of people would rather be in CP3's shoes over Madsen.

I do like the idea of Doc saying that though. It's just to help motivate CP3, keep him focused on the championship goal.

CapsNClips
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I wonder what the conversation would've been if Vinny said this to Chris.

lobcityhawaii
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CP3 would have been furious. Lol.

ClippersSince97
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I think what loyalclipfan meant was that when you're an elite superstar, championships should be the only thing that matters. Nobody talks about guys like Norris Cole or Mark Madsen years later but has been superstars like Barkley and Malone, you can talk about their stats all you want but ultimately the convo ends with "Yea but they don't have any rings." But I agree with championships being won as a team and needing some luck also no matter how good you are.

BringMcadooBackado
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Doc was preaching to the choir when he said this to Chris. It sounds more like a platitude-filled pep talk than a discussion about basketball.

Even the writer of this article thinks the argument is ridiculous.

In other words, this a page-filler topic until basketball actually starts and we can debate things that matter more than "whether or not you're nothing until you win a championship."

cleepers
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The rings argument is utter bollocks when it comes to judging individual talent. An owner? sure... but a player has virtually no control over who he's surrounded by.

jarca
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Championship is what separate two elites from one another.

FreaKeyy
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repped! I always thought this kind of argument was BS. Seriously, would you rather choose Bill Russell over MJ? Bill has 11 rings...

CP3Heliflopter
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Obviously championships do matter but its important to note that they are heavily dependent on being in the right conditions.

Bill Russell over MJ isn't a travesty so I don't think that is the best example. I consider MJ the GOAT but I don't think saying Bill Russell has an argument for GOAT is ridiculous. Bill Russell is arguably the GOAT defender, a great leader and motivator and his accolades are great as well.

A better comparison would be to compare someone like Tony Parker to Barkley. Most people would pick Barkley over Parker and for good reason(even though Parker has 3 rings and a FMVP).

Rings should only be used to compare comparable players careerwise and only if you take context into account. The Finals MVP that Billups, Parker and Pierce got for example is not comparable to the Finals MVP that Dirk or Lebron got because the latter players played a much bigger role in their team's success.

jarca
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The Barkley to Parker comparison is funny. They don't even play the same position. Why not compare Dirk to Barkley. Lot of people may pick Dirk now that he has a ring

Akclipps
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i like how Doc challenged CP by saying this. This will push Chris Paul's drive even moreto get that Championship ring even more. can't wait for this season to start

cleepers
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Then why not compare John Stockton to Chauncey Billups?

Because it would expose how flawed your argument is, that's why.

CP3Heliflopter
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Freakeyy was talking about a scenario where it would be silly to choose one player over another due to ring count(Russell vs MJ) which I didn't like since they are both top 5 players in my book. I didn't want to use some scrub player in the example so I used Parker. Parker has 3 rings and is a very good player but he is not comparable to Barkley who is just a level higher even though Barkley has no rings. If you don't like Parker I could use Pau Gasol or Mchale but I wanted to use someone that was the 1st option for their team.

Dirk vs Barkley would be good example of how to use the ring argument correctly. Both are comparable players and Dirk's ring might just put him a bit above Barkley but like I said context also matters. Barkley had to deal with MJ after all. I am not sure if Dirk could have won a ring in his shoes.

clipper*joe
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That's a bit too simple. I think Doc means he hasn't done anything for his type of CALIBER player. That's his way of grounding him and letting him know he hasn't achieved anything until he LEADS a team to a championship and all those accolades aren't much until it's backed up with a chip. Just ask Nash, mailman, Barkley, and countless other greats who still feel as if the big prize has alluded them. You think Doc would tell Hollings the same thing? I don't think so.

It's all about context which is why CP3 had no problem voluntarily saying it yesterday.

CP3Heliflopter
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My response to was to this.

"Well, doc is right, you are not anything in this league unless you are part of a championship team. Until that happens, second place gets you nothing, especially 8 years later in your nba...."

Which is just silly if you think about it.

I never said that getting a ring was not important or that Doc was wrong in that context. Getting a chip is something every great strives to achieve because if you have no ring then its hard to be a part of the elite echelon. The top 10-20 players of all time. The gap between greats can be very small you need every advantage. Chris Paul already has the individual accolades outside of MVP(he deserved it over Kobe) now he just needs the postseason achievements.

Nowadays casual fans are way too hung up with ring counts without looking at anything else. Every time I see stupid arguments like 5 rings>2-4 rings when discussing which player is better.

Like Kobe fans saying Kobe is better than Duncan since he has more rings while Duncan has more FMVPs and MVPs which matter more. Duncan was the best player for 4 championships(even when Parker won the Finals MVP). Kobe only 2.

cleepers
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Fun Fact:

In 1996, as a celebration of the league's 50th anniversary, the NBA assembled an all-star panel of former players, coaches and media luminaries to name the 50 greatest players of all time. Nine of the 50 best players of all time (18%) had never won a championship. Fifteen of them had won only one.

The fact that 48% of the top 50 players of all time were not multiple champions seems to me to indicate that winning rings is as much a measure of luck as any other factor.

The chances of landing on a team whose owner is willing to spend, the chances of your teammates staying healthy, the quality of the competition in your era... all make a difference.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/50_Greates ... BA_History

catalyst
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My take on it is Doc wants the team to realize that everybody is accountable not just the ones who are obviously have a lot to work on.

Just goes to show how he handles a team compared to Vinny. VDN can talk crap about DJ's play but i sure don't see him telling CP to man up.

jarca
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Stockton had a more accomplished career than Billups.

Prime for Prime I can make an argument for Billups.

A good comparison would be Stockton vs. Thomas. They played in similar era and both are highly regarded as elite. What separate both is Thomas has a ring.

jarca
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Only 9 didn't wing a ring. So 82% won a ring. Sounds like you just advocated for me

cleepers
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^ ONLY 82%...? of the 50 greatest players of ALL-TIME...?

Sounds like it's pretty far from a lock for an "elite" player to win a championship... let alone several, since only HALF of them did that.

Like I said, it depends on ownership, management, roster, team health and a whole load of other factors... or surely ALL of the best 50 players of all time would have at least one of those 600-750 rings that the NBA had given to players by 1996.

cleepers
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Try having that argument with anybody connected to pro-basketball... and please video their response Yellow_Flash_Colorz_PDT_03

jarca
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82% is still a lot compared to 18%. Other so called great went on to validate themselves by winning in the latter part of their careers like Shaquille who was only on his 5th year when the list was made.

jarca
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A prime Billups with his improved mid range and post move can't hang with a prime Stockton? Let's not forget that Billups is 30 pounds bigger than John.

Agent0
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Are you guys talking about 1v1 or matchup up vs each other or about who will generally do more for a team? In light of you guys debate though, is Payton greater than Stockton because he won a ring with Miami?

I guess luck could be the word, but it is more being on the right team at the right time isn't it?

Let's be honest, each year only one team wins. Now, there isn't a 1/30 chance because there aren't 30 high caliber teams. Let's say there are 15 high level stars spread across 10 teams, that's only a 10% chance of winning.

So is it true that it is a bit limited and short sighted to just say more championships equals better, of course. There's no actual logical argument that can be made saying it isn't, but I think you just need to look at it on a case by case basis.

A player who has never had a championship caliber team obviously shouldn't have been expected to have own championships. If you are in a team that gives you a larger window due to the age of the players around you and management, etc, then you have a better chance.

For example there are players who have been on championship caliber teams for 8/10 years of their careers, then another guy who has been on a championship caliber team for 2/10 years. Are we really going to honestly determine "better" player after 10 years by who has more playoff rounds won or more championships? It's obviously not logical.

...but historically, that's work. It's so much easier to just say championship vs no championship than to go and look at who was overachieving vs underachieving, how much a player was contributing to his teams success in comparison to other high level players. That's a bit more work than the simple minded counting championships.

To the thread, Paul is fine with it, so it's okay. Also remember that since we have more teams now, and also due to the draft, moving forward, we're going to see more superstars not winning as many championships. Well unless they are getting together on teams. I mean if we spread all the best players across every team, usually about 10-15 guys in the league, that's still 10-15 other high quality players you are competing against each year. If there is no player movement among them, it's not realistic to somehow expect everyone to have won.

toohipcliptoslip
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To paraphrase Karl Marx "A ring is the opiate of the masses (or Laker/Celtic fans)". The original is "Religion is the opiate of the masses" my answer was "Marxism is the opiate of the pseudointellectual"

Paraphrase Bill Russell "Great players don't make teams great, great teams make players great"

Would I take Billups over CP3 -YES if both were with the Pistons. That was an all star team with no all star (sorta). Would I take a young Chauncey over CP3 with this year's Clips, Jury's out. Is CP3 a better individual player - yes.

To quote Little Richard the self proclaimed "King and Queen of rock and roll" (get well soon) "If it don't fit don't force it" - Don't make it the CP BG show. Make it fit.

Wilt in his later years like MJ went with the flow. That's why they with Oscar had the most consecutive triple doubles a quantum away from everybody else. Team BB. Like him or not Kobe is one of the few who can win by himself (Sorta). He also didn't face the Bulls or the old Celtics - luck

There is a difference between being a champion and winning a ring. A lot is luck. Malone/Stockton would have been dominant but bad luck put them in MJ's way. Would the twins been great separately?

What would LAL fans be without their rings? What would an old guy be without his Viagra?

cleepers
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^ Stockton was averaging 12 assists and putting up similar points to Billups on almost 50% shooting in his prime... not to mention doubling him up in steals. Chauncey dreamed of numbers like that.

There's a reason Stockton is always mentioned in the top 3 or 4 PG's all-time. Billups would struggle to crack the top 10.

Clippersfan86
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Doc is right. Chris Paul is a HOF player but what he means by nothing... is that all HOF/great players will be judged by rings. You may have all these personal honors but at the end of the day you'll be remembered for how many rings you didn't or didn't have. Given that CP3's a winner to the core, CP3 probably feels like he hasn't accomplished much yet either.

toohipcliptoslip
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You missed the point. Stockton is one of my favorite players. I mention him, in the same sentence as Wilt or Oscar. The point is you can't separate Billups from Sheed, Ben, Rip and Tayshaun. To be trite five fingers make a fist. The team WAS (note singular) a champion. I said the Stockton/Malone twins, not them individually. My point was that with the possible exception of Kobe great teams not great players win. Wilt really shined when he played team BB with the LAL and lead the league in assists.

CP needs to let the team make him better.

Agent0
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That might not be the best example as CP isn't really the type of player that would change the dynamics of how that Pistons team functioned. Of course in hindsight, since Billups has already been there and done that, it's easy to say, but I think it's always good to examine how talents mesh. Those Pistons teams needed a guy to do almost all the ball handling. Rip came of screens and was the scorer, Shees was the post option / stretch big / great defender, Ben was the elite interior defender, and Tayshaun was the wing defender.

There's not only one type of PG that could have fit, though there are some PG's that would not be as beneficial. I think sometimes it is good to examine success of a team with a certain player with the understanding that another player with a different style but equal to greater effectiveness can lead the team to similar success though not exactly the same way. Teams aren't static, good players learn to adapt.

If I switch Tony Parker and Deron Williams, I'm not now unable to play effective basketball as the Spurs, or vice versatile as the Nets. Out style might not be exactly the same, but it doesn't mean it will be less effective.

There are seemingly some ways to great success:

1) Multiple superstars is the obvious one, usually with at least a god defense, but the defensive baseline is lower than all the other combinations

2) A superstar, an All-Star(s) and an a very good to elite defense

3) A superstar, a bunch of low level or just below All-Star level players and a very good to elite defense

4) Great team with All-Stars, some just below All-Star level players and an very good to elite defense

It's hard to find any successful team that didn't have some sort of combination of players like that.

Examples:

1) Shaq/Kobe, Durant/Westbrook

2) Billups/Rip/Wallace/Wallace or Memphis

3) Superstar: Rose, All-Stars: Deng, Noah, Just below All-Star: Boozer

4) Superstar: Lebron James, Low level/ just below All-Star: Mo Williams

Singular superstar teams usually require elite defense to do anything significant in the post-season.

The Knicks for example are a team that I'm still trying to see how their conglomeration turns into a high level team. They have the defensive potential though. They have the superstar, a below All-Star guy in Smith, but the other pieces are not consistent. Also of course not all superstars are made equal. Lebron is a higher level superstar than Carmelo.

Agent0
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toohip, how is Kobe an exception? When did he win without a great team?

Duncan in 02-03 or maybe Hakeem during his first championship are possible exceptions, but even Hakeem had a good overall team in terms of fit and roles. The Spurs in 02-03 are probably the closest thing to really one player carrying a ton of the load.

cleepers
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You're right... and that's exactly what I meant by "luck".

Sometimes, the "right" team just happens to be the team that suffered least attrition throughout the season/playoffs. Other times, the accumulation of star players makes the team "right".

Even the market can make a difference... I find it much easier to picture Wade and Bosh saying "Hell, no. I don't want to live in Cleveland!" than LeBron saying "Hell, No. I'm not living in Miami."

So many variables, that saying so-and-so is better because he has a ring or more rings is just asinine.

Jordan has more rings than kobe, but IF Shaq and kobe had stayed together, maybe kobe would have more. Whether he has 5 or 7, his ability is a constant. Then people could talk about IF Jordan hadn't taken his little sabbatical.

Nobody with half a brain believes that Mario Chalmers is better than CP3, Derrick Rose, or for that matter John Stockton.

Championships are a measure of how good a particular TEAM is or was... and even then you'll hear arguments that Sloan's Jazz would have a couple in any other era. You could even caveat a few of the lakers and Celtics chips since there was far less competition back in the day.

The rings=greatness argument is utter bullshit.

cleepers
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I agree, my man. My comment wasn't actually directed at you... you just posted before I finished typing my reply to jarca.

CP3Heliflopter
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When did Kobe win without a stacked team? Shaq and Kobe Lakers for the first three rings. Kobe/Gasol/Odom/Bynum for the last two. Not to mention he had the GOAT coach. Kobe did the opposite. He won with stacked teams.

Examples of guys who won without "stacked" teams:

Hakeem in 94, Tim Duncan in 03 and Dirk in 11. Hakeem didn't have star players but all the role players performed at a very high level. Tim Duncan had a decent amount of help but not that much. However, the competition was relatively weak. In the case of Dirk he did have Tyson Chandler. Not to mention Jason Terry + role players went off.

In those cases role players played at a high level which compensated for the fact that there wasn't a strong 2nd option. In our case last season people played below their normal levels outside of CP3, Barnes, Bledsoe and Willie Green. Bledsoe and Green barely got minutes so it hardly mattered. Billups and our frontcourt didn't play well at all. Crawford was a non-factor, etc.

jarca
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Here you are again comparing non elites like chalmer to rose etc. Rings are the tie breaker between two elites.

Isiah Thomas>Stockton

Dirk>Barkley

Olajuwon>Ewing

toohipcliptoslip
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The difference is philosophical. The team wasn't and isn't the Lakers it's Kobe and the Bryantettes. Remember Gladys Knight and the Pips (If you're old enough) Would you pay to see The Pips? Shaq and Kobe could have carved out a dynasty but they were babies. Kobe doesn't want a team he wants four bodyguards. Carrying the load and demanding to carry the load are different. We were talking abut team ball

Jordan/Pippen: Stockton/Malone: Bird+a good team/ Isaih Thomas/ Lambier etc:; Magic/Worthy/Kareem/ ETC ETC.

Center, #24, SF#24, PF, #24, SG #24. PG #24 COACH # 24

D12 didn't want to play with Kobe. Nelly hit it on the head. Nobody good wants to play with him but he singlehandedly by force of will got LAL to the PO's

Kobe won rings without a "team"

ekker3
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Doc just won me over tenfold.

ClipsGForce
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Right here guys is a real coach. He flat out told CP3 is nothing. I love that guts.

toohipcliptoslip
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Are Parker and Isaiah Thomas better than Oscar? Don't think so

Again are you talking about the opinion of the Great Unwashed or CTB? The "ring" argument is usually given by fans who's teams have rings. If Malone hadn't had that freak accident he would have had a ring playing as a bench player. Why would one season coming off the bench skyrocket him to heaven? Again to go back to what Russell said. His Team made him great. Would Russell have been that great without those teams? Maybe, maybe not. Why is a superstar player who carries a good but not great team to the finals worse that let's say Thomas who had a great team and wins rings?

I see some greatness in Kobe partly because he last year willed his team to the PO's. An argument could be made that his "ringless" season finally elevates him to the status of carrying MJ's jock. He left it all on the floor every night. Doesn't this mean more than winning a ring with Shaq? I think so. It was funny, my LAL friends were saying they'd be #10. I laughed and told them Kobe wouldn't allow it and he didn't and I can't stand the jackass.

An argument could be made that rings lower your status because you had more help getting one.

jarca
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Never seen oscar play. It's hard to compare different guys from different era. The rules are different. Guys today are more athletic and bigger. The 3 point line changed our defensive scheme etc.

Voyeur
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If only Ewing had Olajuwon's supporting cast in the mid-90's. In fact, if Pat Riley had kept Mark Jackson and Xavier McDaniel a little longer, I think Ewing would have gotten at least one ring. Oh well, he'll have to settle for his NCAA championship and 2 gold medals.

I can't speak on the old guys. I am a believer that some of those guys (ahem, Wilt) were just far beyond their competition of their day.

tense2
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Saw Oscar play...and the great ones can play in any era.

hoopfanjd31
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That might be a bit of an overstatement. You really think Bob Cousy could compete today against the likes of CP3, Rose and Westbrook? I have my doubts. A lot, maybe even most, of the historical greats could compete in any eras, but I don't think all of them could.

tense2
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Depends how you define or what your mind set is on "The Great Ones".

Not all in the HOF would I consider in that category. Oscar Robertson was/is IMO.

And yes, I do think Cousy could "compete" today just fine.

CP3Heliflopter
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In 94 Ewing had an equivalent if not better supporting cast. Olajuwon simply outplayed him. He was the better scorer and playoff performer by a good margin. The problem I always had with Ewing was that he was easily shut down offensively in the playoffs. His movements were way too mechanical and he was a mediocre passer. To be fair though he never had much talent on his teams. However, swap Olajuwon with Ewing and the Knicks would have won at least one ring. Maybe two-three even.

toohipcliptoslip
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Yes he could. Check out some footage. His over the head pass while setting a screen. One of the most impressive moments in BB history was when he dribbled out the clock and all five guys on the other team couldn't catch him to foul him.

I believe he's better than any of them. Look at some footage. I've mentioned this before but the video is gone from you tube. He's around 60. His interview lasted around 2 min. He was shooting 's the whole time and never missed. H shot the last one with his last hand. I saw Oscar play a lot. One could argue that if they had the 3 pt shot his numbers would have been higher.

For funzies comparing generations Wilt was one of the few , maybe the only guy who could effectively guard MJ (He probably could out sprint him)

Agent0
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Wlit couldn't guard MJ. Straight line speed is totally different from lateral speed, and as much athletic ability as Wilt had he was just not at the same tier as elite perimeter players when it came to lateral speed. Doesn't make him any less great, but he still couldn't guard perimeter guys effectively over more than situational periods.

Offensively, especially when we start talking playoffs, Ewing was just never as good as Olajuwon. There's a pretty decent gap that changes the outcomes of games, since both were high impact defenders. I do agree that he was very close that he really could have won one, but he lost to Olajuwon, albeit, in 7 games, but he had the better team.

We're talking about a team with these main guys (R = Rookie, S = Sophomore):

Hakeem Olajuwon | Vernon Maxwell | Otis Thorpe | Robert Horry (S) | Kenny Smith | Sam Cassell (R) | Mario Elie

Patrick Ewing | John Starks | Charles Oakley | Derek Harper | Anthony Mason | Charles Smith | Greg Anthony

From 25-34 years old, Ewing averaged 22.5 PPG (20.4 pts/36) in the post-season on 48.1% FG, .528 TS%, 106 Ortg.

Olajuwon from 22-34 years old averaged 27.3 PPG (24.0 pts/36) in the post-season on 53.5% FG, 113 Ortg

That's a BIG difference in offensive production, even taking into account quality of teammates, and in that 94 playoffs, Olajuwon was not boasting anything special in terms of teammates. I think because of the future of Horry and Cassell, people sort of interpret their presence on that team as what their future selves became. The difference in those teams was that Olajuwon put up 28.9 PPG / 51.9% FG / .568 TS% / 109 Ortg to Ewing's 21.9 PPG / 43.7% FG / .495 TS% / 101 Ortg.

pageC4
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I knew you'd like this. I think Doc bringing CP back down to earth was necessary. Doc's vision and leadership needs to be respected, not questioned. And by calling out the teams superstar he is showing that he is in control and egos need to be put aside

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