Doc Rivers on DeAndre Jordan: Nothing wrong with changing mind

LOS ANGELES -- Doc Rivers said he has no problems with DeAndre Jordan not calling Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban to tell him he had changed his mind and would be turning down the Mavs' four-year offer to return to the Los Angeles Clippers.

Jordan verbally committed to join the Mavericks last week but by Monday was having second thoughts. He eventually decided to stay in Los Angeles after Rivers, owner Steve Ballmer and teammates Chris Paul, Blake Griffin and Paul Pierce arrived at Jordan's house in Houston on Wednesday afternoon and didn't leave until he officially re-signed with the Clippers shortly after midnight.

"I've been in this long enough as a coach and a GM -- typically when free agents leave, their agent calls," Rivers said. "In our case, D.J. was with us for seven years and when he first decided to leave, his agent called me. I think some people choose to make the call themselves. Some people don't. Honestly, that's why you hire representatives, to do that work for you. I can tell you this summer I've been turned down more than a freshman kid at a college bar. I have yet to get a call from the actual player to turn me down. It's always their agent. It's part of our league and that's the way it's done. That's not a problem."

Rivers said he received a call from Jordan's agent, Dan Fegan, last week informing him that Jordan had committed to the Mavericks but by "Sunday or Monday" heard he was having second thoughts.

"In my gut, I never felt like he ever wanted to leave," Rivers said. "That was hard for me when I first heard that he was because I could have done something different and I have to figure that out on my own."

Rivers didn't want to get into specifics of the team's meeting at Jordan's house on Wednesday but said it was good to get the team's projected starting lineup and owner in the same room for almost half a day to share stories and talk about next season.

"It was a great team-building moment," Rivers said. "It was fantastic. I'm not going to get into what was said and what was done but it was absolutely wonderful. Coaches look for moments and team-building opportunities all season and in some ways that was presented in this situation and it was a wonderful moment for a bunch of the guys to get into a room and talk about our team and everything else. It was good. That's what you want."

There have been numerous reports about a rift between Paul and Jordan, which many believed initially caused Jordan to want to leave. But Rivers said Paul was not the reason behind Jordan's original decision to leave and said the two of them on Wednesday talked through whatever issues they had.

"The stuff that I heard was so overblown it was laughable," Rivers said. "Teams do have issues, they always do and they always will, so do families, that's the way I view teams. That was talked about and laughed about in some ways, but it was discussed."

Rivers added: "They have disagreements, just like Blake and I have had disagreements and we get on each other. It's not as sinister as people keep trying to make it. Did we probably all need to have that talk yesterday? Yeah. It was really good and it was good that everybody was free in their conversations. You just have to continue growing, you can't just stop there. Everybody in the room was wondering how all of the sudden after the season this came out and became this issue. That's not why D.J. was considering leaving."

Rivers said he laughed when he heard that people thought the Clippers were refusing to leave Jordan's house.

"It was funny how that was portrayed," Rivers said. "Guys wanted to stay see [the contract signing]. I heard Blake put a chair against the door, which was hilarious but it wasn't anything like that at all. There's an opportunity I missed in not filming it for a team-building thing for our other guys to see. It was nice. D.J. left the house a couple of times. It wasn't like we were, 'D.J., you can't leave the house!' None of that stuff happened. We were all free. J.J. [Redick] came and went. I did, too. It was funny how it was being portrayed. It made for a good story."

Rivers said he actually watched the team's summer league game on television and the players in the room cheered when C.J. Wilcox made a shot and were jokingly throwing things at the television when a foul was called.

While Rivers said he always thought Jordan wanted to return to the Clippers, he understood why he initially wanted to go to Dallas to be their "franchise player."

"Looking at different situations and being recruited sometimes, you can get enchanted with it all and there's nothing wrong with that," Rivers said. "But you also have the right to look at it again and change your mind and that's what he did and there's nothing wrong with that as well."

"D.J. has never looked as himself as the third guy and we don't, either," Rivers said. "We look at him as one of the Big Three, just like in Miami or in Boston or San Antonio. I don't think they're sitting around thinking who's first, second or third. I don't think they care and I think D.J. is more like that than people give him credit for."

Jordan wasn't made available to reporters on Thursday after he departed for a 10-day cruise and likely won't hold a news conference until July 20. Rivers understands some of the backlash directed at Jordan after his change of heart but believes it's all a part of the learning process for his 26-year-old center, who can became a free agent again in three years.

"If he's in this situation again, which he will be, he'll probably be better at it," Rivers said. "It happens. It's not the first time this has happened."