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Report: Paul angry he's being blamed for Del Negro firing

The SportsXchange

Los Angeles Clippers guard Chris Paul is angry at the Clippers organization because he feels he's being blamed for the firing of head coach Vinny Del Negro, ESPN.com reported Thursday.

"He's angry right now and his anger is directed toward the Clippers organization," a source told ESPN.com. "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."

It's been assumed that Paul will re-sign with the Clippers this summer as a free agent. The question now is whether Paul's feeling toward the team could have an impact on that decision.

The Clippers can offer him a five-year, $108 million deal, $28 million more than any other club.

Del Negro was fired on May 21, and Clippers owner Donald Sterling implied in an interview with the Los Angeles Times that Paul and Blake Griffin were to blame for Del Negro's departure.

Times columnist T.J. Simers wrote that he asked Sterling if he was "off base" to say the Clippers' "players are now calling the shots?"

"No, you're not off base," Sterling replied. "This is a players' league, and, unfortunately, if you want to win you have to make the players happy."

Del Negro believes Paul got him fired, a source close to Del Negro told ESPN.com.

In an interview on the Dan Patrick radio show on Thursday, Del Negro implied that Paul was the reason he was let go.

But, a source told ESPN.com, "Chris made it abundantly clear to the Clippers that he did not want to be involved in any decision about Vinny's future. And Blake had nothing to do with it either.

"The front office's feelings about getting rid of Vinny were strong enough that the players didn't need to get involved."

Paul is also not involved in the Clippers' search for a new coach, according to the report, which states that the leading contenders for the Clippers' job are Jeff Van Gundy, Brian Shaw and Byron Scott.

The Clippers are also considering asking the Nuggets for permission to talk to Denver coach George Karl.
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