Los Angeles, CA
Superstar Chris Paul has expressed anger towards the Los Angeles Clippers organization for blaming him for the firing of Vinny Del Negro as coach, according to a source close to the playmaker.
"He's angry right now and his anger is directed toward the Clippers organization," a source said. "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," the source added.
It was expected that Paul will re-sign with the Clippers this summer but with the development, he could look for other teams when he turns free agent July 1.
The Clippers could offer Paul a five-year, $108 million deal -- $28 million more than any other club - but the source said the player could turn it down if he feels that he's been slighted.
Despite leading the Clippers to their most successful regular season in franchise history with 56 wins, Del Negro was fired on May 21.
After that, Clippers owner Donald Sterling strongly implied in an interview with the Los Angeles Times that Paul and Blake Griffin were to blame for Del Negro's ouster.
A source close to Del Negro said the former coach believes that Paul got him fired. The source added that Del Negro had no idea during the regular season or the playoffs that Paul wanted him out.
However, a source with knowledge of the situation said Paul refused to get involved in the Clippers' coaching situation and that he wanted nothing to do with the decision to retain or release Del Negro.
"Chris made it abundantly clear to the Clippers that he did not want to be involved in any decision about Vinny's future," the source said. "And Blake had nothing to do with it, either."
The source added that the Clippers' front office was at odds with Del Negro for much of the season and that led to his firing.
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