Shannon Sharpe explains why Austin Rivers was the key to the Clippers – Rockets confrontation

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Shannon Sharpe explains why Austin Rivers was the key to the Los Angeles Clippers - Houston Rockets confrontation, detailing that the NBA needs to come down hard with suspensions on both sides because it's no longer the same type of NBA as it was in the 80's and 90's.

- And how should the NBA handle this?

- There'll be a lot of suspensions, Skip Bayless. As Doc said, it was going to be emotional. This is Chris Paul's first return back to the Clippers. They had a video tribute to him, and then he cutting up. But that's what happened, Skip. They thought they were going to go in there, beat the breaks off the Clips, gloat, talk about, you know-- and get on up outta there. But a funny thing happened.

SKIP BAYLESS: A funny thing happened.

- Lou Williams has been cooking for about the last two weeks. Blake played unbelievable.

SKIP BAYLESS: He did.

- And I think what got them most upset-- I don't know what it is, Skip. But they got it in for Doc's son. They don't like Austin Rivers.

SKIP BAYLESS: And he doesn't like them either.

- But here's the thing, Skip. We've seen so many times, guys in street clothes talking trash to guys that's on the court. Every time a guy shoots a ball in front of the opposing team bench, they're yelling, miss it, you suck. He makes it. He turns around and stares at them. Now, everybody has a problem with Austin Rivers talking. That's not about him talking. That's about who he is.

SKIP BAYLESS: That's a fact.

- Going to the opposing team's locker room-- now, first of all, the NBA is going to cut down on some of this chippiness. See, they've got to say, if you get thrown out for fighting, it's an automatic two games. Because it used to be, Skip, guys would, like, come together. They break them up. Boom. Now, last week, we had Serge Ibaka and Johnson actually throwing punches. They got a game. NBA need to kick that up to two games. They need to think long and hard because, look, you're not going back to the '70s and '80s and '90s basketball.

SKIP BAYLESS: Thank you. Thank you.

- So stop saying that back in my day-- I get it. When I played in the '90s, Skip, it was a different brand of football than what they play now.

SKIP BAYLESS: You're right.

- You could do that back then. They're not going back to that.

SKIP BAYLESS: Nope.

- So in today's game, the way they play, that type of behavior is unacceptable.

And then, why are you going to the victors' locker room? They owe you something? Are you going to collect money? I mean, what y'all? Y'all work for the Lucchese or the Gambino crime family or something? See, what would have happened if they'd have dropped one of them, you stop all this nonsense. James Hardin, you hurt. You should have had no part-- I get that's not your team. You hurt. Why are you going over there? Chris--

SKIP BAYLESS: I don't know. That's a good question.

- Chris, Chris, you wanted out. You didn't want to be in the Clippers locker room. That's why you asked for a trade. Why are you trying to get back over there now?

SKIP BAYLESS: That's a great point.

- This explains a lot why they hadn't had success. Because this just didn't pop up last night. Chris Paul and Blake Griffin hadn't been close in a while, I'm assuming.

SKIP BAYLESS: Bad blood, never got along.

- It-- it came. It's coming out. Because Chris Paul called him. You said don't nobody call anybody else that. But Chris Paul called him that. Now, people think Blake Griffin saw. We've seen Zach Randolph stand right next to him and grab his package and make to him, saying, basically, you know what you are.

SKIP BAYLESS: That is true.

- So people take shots at Blake. And sometimes, Skip-- you know, I'm not saying, Blake you should do this, but you might have to drop somebody. Because they take your kindness for weakness. You know, they look at your complexion. They like, he ain't going to do nothing.

SKIP BAYLESS: That is correct.