PLAYA VISTA, Calif. -- J.J. Redick sat down for a homemade breakfast with his wife, Chelsea, on Friday morning -- the first day of his offseason.
Redick couldn't handle it, and the Clippers' starting shooting guard burst into tears.
"I started weeping," he said, his voice beginning to crack. "You wait your whole life to play with a group of guys like that, and you hope that's the group you end up winning with.
"When it doesn't happen, it's devastating."
The Clippers were certainly devastated following their 104-98 loss to Oklahoma City on Thursday night, with players and coaches taking part in an incredibly emotional locker room.
"The locker room was not very good after the game, in a very sad way," Coach Doc Rivers said Thursday. "You know, just watching our guys, it just felt like all this stuff that they've gone through, they kind of released all their emotions. That was tough. That was tough to see for me as one of their leaders. Wish I could have done more for them."
The pain hadn't gone when Redick, Jamal Crawford and Blake Griffin spoke with the media Friday. It'll probably be a part of them for a while.
"You have to let the sting linger for a while," Griffin said, "and I kind of want to use that this summer as I prepare for next year."
But no one wants to think about that yet.
Griffin, one of the hardest-working players in the league, hadn't given much thought to his offseason schedule.
Crawford said he was still in some shock that his team wasn't preparing for Game 7.
"I think the future is bright," he said. "It's just a sad reality that there has to be a future and we're not playing right now."
The Clippers aren't making excuses for being bounced in the second round, though the emotional toll of this postseason was clear.
The Clippers had to deal with a national news story when their owner brought heaps of unwanted attention. They had to fight through a seven-game series against the Golden State Warriors. They had to fight back to steal Game 4 against the Thunder, and they had to watch as the Thunder returned the favor in Game 5.
By Thursday, there wasn't room for any more.
"As humans, you only have emotional capacity for so much," Redick said.
Crawford said he was so emotionally spent, he struggled to sleep despite being so tired.
"It was draining," he said.
With nothing left to give, the emotion poured out of the players, ending a season that's going to hurt for a little while.
"We've been through a lot. It was a surreal feeling to know it was over with, to know that there were no more games, no more film," Crawford said. "... And it all kind of came out."
(c)2014 The Orange County Register (Santa Ana, Calif.)
Visit The Orange County Register (Santa Ana, Calif.) at www.ocregister.com
Distributed by MCT Information Services