The L.A. Clippers overcame a massive overhaul this summer after star dynamo Chris Paul was traded to the Houston Rockets for variable pieces over the summer. While many aimed to say a somewhat abrasive culture was the reason for his exit, head coach Doc Rivers pointed out that the culture is built by the players in the locker, room not the coach — and that if the culture was that bad indeed, players like J.J. Redick wouldn’t have begged to come back.

“There are times players don’t want to be coached by you anymore,” Rivers said, according to ESPN’s Zach Lowe, without mentioning Paul’s name. (Paul declined comment through his representatives.) Rivers has seen Paul’s remarks about the team’s culture. “Who controls the culture?” he asks. “The players. Always the players. And even with Chris’ comments, he thought about coming back. J.J. [Redick] was begging to come back.”

Redick vehemently denied these comments from Rivers.

“There was never any indication from my agent that I wanted to go back,” he said. “I didn’t beg to come back. I didn’t want to come back.”