All-Star point guard Chris Paul was an emotional wreck when the LA Clippers were booted out of the NBA Playoffs in heartbreaking fashion by the OKC Thunder last season.
Paul bungled numerous plays late in a controversial Game 5 loss, and broke down in tears following the Clips’ Game 6 elimination in the Western Conference semifinal series. Per the LA Times:
Paul made a turnover in the backcourt after jumping into the air, expecting to be fouled but instead having the ball stripped; he fouled Russell Westbrook on a three-point attempt, the resulting free throws giving the Thunder a one-point lead; and he lost the ball with less than a second to play, precluding his team from getting off a final shot.
It was all part of the Clippers’ blowing a seven-point lead in the final 49.2 seconds of Game 5 that sent the Clippers back to Staples Center facing an elimination game that they lost to end their season. Paul was so devastated he cried in the locker room afterward.
“It would be lying to you to say I’d forgotten about it,” Paul sai. “It’s one of those things that I don’t want to forget, to tell you the truth. I think for me, I feel like you have to remember things like that and therefore you don’t want that feeling again. I know I don’t.”