The Rivers run through LA Clippers with Doc and son
LOS ANGELES (AP) Austin Rivers joined coach Doc Rivers with the Los Angeles Clippers on Friday, and he made it clear he’s not expecting any favors from dear old dad.
The 22-year-old guard averaged 6.8 points, 2.3 assists and 1.9 rebounds off the bench in 35 games with New Orleans. The Pelicans were 13 1/2 games back in the West standings Friday night, while the Clippers were 6 1/2 behind before they hosted Cleveland.
Austin Rivers became the first player in NBA history to play for his father.
”History, oh great,” Doc said beforehand. ”I don’t really care about that. I want to win and make our team better.”
So does his son.
”I was really excited because this is a playoff, championship-caliber team,” Austin said. ”I can score the ball and play-make. That’s something the team needs in the second unit.”
Austin entered the game late in the first quarter and fed a long pass to a fast-breaking Blake Griffin, who dunked.
Rivers was scoreless, missing four shots in 11 minutes, with one assist. He came into the game without any practice, having spent the last four days in New Orleans waiting for the trade to be finalized.
”I was thinking too much,” he said afterward. ”I was trying to be perfect and please everybody.”
The younger Rivers said he and his father have always done their own things basketball-wise, so he never expected to one day be coached by his dad.
”Now that I am his coach he has to actually listen to me,” Doc joked. ”He’s probably thinking any kid will listen to their parent if they pay them.”
Austin was traded to Boston on Monday and the Celtics immediately dealt him to the Clippers.
”He fits our team,” Doc said. ”My job is to do what is best for the team. He’s young. That’s one of the reasons we wanted him.”
His father called Austin to gauge his thoughts on the possibility of coming West.
”I don’t know what tampering is when you’re talking to your son,” the elder Rivers said.
Austin said, ”The first thing I did was call my mom. She was a wreck the first night.”
Kris Rivers wondered aloud about how various situations would go. Doc said his wife gave him her blessing, but if she gets upset about how her son is treated, he said, ”I am not prepared for that.”
Austin is named after former Notre Dame and Cavaliers star Austin Carr, who shared a hug with Doc before the game. Austin was born in Santa Monica.
Austin isn’t worried about the reaction in the locker room or his father showing any favoritism to him.
”When I was 5 years old, we played checkers and he would not let me win,” Austin said. ”My dad would never, ever play me over someone else. I know Chris (Paul) and Blake (Griffin) are the leaders.”
Griffin said, ”We’re not going to treat him any different than we treat anyone else.”
The rest of Rivers’ siblings encouraged him to join them in Los Angeles, and all three showed up at the game: sister Callie and brothers Jeremiah and Spencer.
”They were like, `I think you should do it because it’s a great opportunity for you,”’ Austin said. ”I couldn’t say no.”