Austin Rivers isn’t afraid to talk about the success he’s found playing for his father, and he has no problem calling out anyone who says he’s gotten special treatment in Los Angeles. Rivers called out Glen Davis on Wednesday when he appeared on FS1’s Undisputed in response to Big Baby’s suggestion that the Rivers duo have created problems for others on the Clippers.
Sentient Twitter bot Skip Bayless brought up the fact that Davis had previously appeared on the program and said Austin Rivers caused “some resentment” in the locker room because he’s the son of coach Doc Rivers. Big Baby appears to have a bit of a thing with Doc Rivers going, as does everyone on the 2008 Celtics these days.
The younger Rivers, however, had no problem laying into Davis for his fitness, work ethic, and generally not belonging on an NBA roster.
“That’s a bunch of BS,” Rivers said. Though he was clear to say he doesn’t have a problem with Davis, he was more than willing to call out his own difficulties in the league as an indication that Davis is projecting a bit when it comes to his problems with the elder Rivers.
“Pops has said jokes about his weight and stuff like that. It was hard, let me ask you something. If someone is constantly out of shape. Late. Don’t remember the plays, how the hell are you supposed to play? So I don’t know where that even goes with the team. That has nothing to do with him coming at my father, I really don’t care. That’s between him and my pops.
But as far as him talking about me being uncomfortable: that has never had a play in the team. I’ve earned every stripe that I’ve gotten. I’ve earned (all my) playing time. That’s just him talking out the side of his neck. I don’t even understand where that comes from so I don’t even pay that no mind. Waste of my time talking about that.”
Austin has admitted in the past it’s weird to negotiate with his father about contracts and there’s an inevitable strangeness that comes with being coached by your father, but he said he’s proud of the success he’s found in the league with Doc and doesn’t have a problem defending his place in the league.
“I don’t care if my grandma coaches me. At the end of the day, she can’t help me when I’m on the floor.
Yeah, he’s harder on me. For sure. So if anything, look at the pressure I’ve had to play with. Could you imagine playing for your pops at this level? That’s not easy to do. So people always talk about the easy part. ‘Oh, he’s your dad.’ Well why don’t we talk about the hard part? I don’t see anybody else doing what we’ve done. And that the end of the day, people can say what they want about me and my pops, but we’ve done something that no one else has been able to do.
This is something I’m going to look back (on) 20 from now and say ‘man, that was amazing. I was able to play with my pops.’”
The whole segment is pretty enlightening, as Rivers points out he grew up in Florida while his father was coaching the Celtics in Boston. It sounds like he understands exactly the very complicated space he’s existing in right now—scraping for an NBA career in a major city while his father is both supportive and a difficult coach to play for.
The good news is he seems to be fine: his numbers are improving and the Clippers can still be a contender if things fall the right way. If Chris Paul and Blake Griffin want to stick around, that is.