It was a side deal that the NBA nixed because such side deals go against league rules. Rivers said he's happy the deal fell apart. He had hoped there would be a way for the Clippers to land Garnett, but not at the expense of Jordan.
"I couldn't get involved in that whole thing," Rivers said. "That was the strangest thing in the world. I was seeing the trade talks and I was saying, 'Wait a minute! We don't want to give away that guy!' We wanted that other guy, too. That was the home run to get both.
"[Jordan] is just too young and too gifted to let walk out your door, bottom line. He's a game changer defensively. He can single-handedly change a game with his defense. There's five guys, and that number maybe too high, that can do that single-handedly with their size and athleticism and he's one of them. When you have one of those guys, you want to keep them."
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