Nuggets guard Austin Rivers makes honest admission about trying to escape the nepotism claims while playing for Doc Rivers and the Clippers.
While we have seen a lot of father-son duos play in the NBA, none of them shared the court at the same time. Be it Dell and Stephen Curry, Arvydas and Domantas Sabonis, they never achieved what Doc Rivers and Austin Rivers did.
Even though they never played together, they became the first father-son duo in NBA history when Austin joined the Lob City Clippers, coached by Doc Rivers. Regrettably, for the young guard, the Clipper locker room wasn’t the best place to be in at the time due to the Donald Sterling controversy.
Austin Rivers appreciation tweet.
After what he did for the Clippers, playing with one eye after Blake and CP went down, this interview will always get me.
Forever one of my favorite players.pic.twitter.com/Pr0pvj1TGt
— Joey Linn (@joeylinn_) April 30, 2021
The combination of being the coach’s son, and being in a troubled locker room, is a recipe for disaster. As a result, it did not end well for Austin Rivers. Recently, the 29-year-old opened up about playing for his dad and the challenges he faced along the way.
Austin Rivers opens up about the challenges he faced playing for his dad.
Duke product Austin Rivers was one of the highest-ranked prospects coming out of high school, resulting in him being a lottery pick (10th) in the draft, ending up alongside Anthony Davis in New Orleans.
However, things didn’t exactly work out for him in New Orleans. He was then traded to the Clippers, where his father served as the head coach at the time. From the moment he joined, there were rumours of nepotism and favoritism taking place.
Austin Rivers recently shared his thoughts on the whole Clipper tenure. The 31-year-old said it was nice to know his dad backed him as a coach, but everything else was ‘hell’. He goes on to say –
“Everything else man was hell. Imagine being in a locker room where like say guys were talking about the coach. This happens on every team. Not everybody’s playing, not everybody’s getting along with the coach. … but the coach is my dad. There’s just a dynamic that’s weird there.”
The 10-year-old pro played with the Clippers for four seasons before leaving to the Wizards for Marcin Gortat. Rivers then bounced around the league before landing on the Nuggets a year ago, and it looks like he has found himself in Denver as the backup guard.
In fact, he made sure to point out the fact that he is still in the league despite leaving his father in LA. He goes on to say –
“Everywhere I played, I got a lot of heat for it. Everybody was like, ‘You’re only in the league because of your dad.’ That comment I’ve heard too many times. … I played for my dad for two and a half years.
“I’ve been in the league for 10. There’s a reason why and that’s because I’m one of the best basketball players in the world. But when you play for your dad, that s–t just gets discredited.”
“It’s as if they forgot I was the top player in high school, that I was a lottery pick, that I went to Duke. That all went under the rug when I played for my dad. Nobody gave a f*ck.”@AustinRivers25 spoke about the challenges of playing for his dad early in his NBA career. pic.twitter.com/9SnuVuvmWD
— The Ringer (@ringer) February 4, 2022
Well, he does make an excellent point. If a position of influence allows youngsters to make the league, then why aren’t there as many sons of team presidents, or other head coaches in the league?
— Tomer Azarly (@TomerAzarly) October 4, 2019
Granted, while being the kid of a head coach in the NBA opens up opportunities, it doesn’t dimmish what Austin Rivers has achieved in any way whatsoever. And we’re sure Doc Rivers is proud of what his son has accomplished.