Clippers PG Austin Rivers could prove doubters wrong this season


Playing in the shadow of someone else can be difficult. It could be even more difficult if that shadow was your father and head coach.

Los Angeles Clippers point guard Austin Rivers joined his father, head coach Doc Rivers, in Los Angeles back in 2015.

Austin was drafted by the New Orleans Hornets 10th overall in the 2012 NBA Draft. After three seasons with New Orleans, he was traded to the Boston Celtics in a three-team deal.

Doc and Austin Rivers would be traded to the Clippers in a three-team deal involving the Celtics and Phoenix Suns just a few days later. He became the first son to play for his father in an NBA game.

With the pressures of playing under his father came comments from critics. Some would say ‘he was only in the league because of his dad.’ His talent on the court would eventually put an end to those negative comments.

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Although Austin knew he wasn’t going to be a starter playing behind Chris Paul, he made the most of his time spent on the court.

In his first season with the Clippers, Rivers appeared in 41 games averaging 7.1 points per game. In the playoffs is where the fans saw what Rivers was truly made of scoring a playoff career-high 25 points in a Game 3 victory over the Houston Rockets.

Fans still wondered the potential Rivers could bring to the Clippers. In his second season averaged his career-high in points with 8.9 points off the bench. He scored his career-high 32 points in a 119-117 loss to the Oklahoma City Thunder.

Rivers only concerns are can he perform on a high level for a team every night on a consistent basis? He could have signed with the Houston Rockets, Brooklyn Nets, or New York Knicks and competed for a starting position. But he choose less money to stay with the Clippers.

“I took less to come back here,” Rivers told reporters. “I;m not taking this for granted. I was on a team where it was very bad. There are only four or four teams in the league with a realistic chance to win this year, and I think we’re one of them. I’m not taking this for granted. I know if I go somewhere else, I might not ever be on a team like this again. A lot of people go their whole career and never play on a team like this.”

Austin Rivers opportunities will only improve. He has the potential to be another Jamal Crawford off the bench. Last night, Rivers scored a team-high 19 points in the victory over the Utah Jazz.

As far as playing for his father, Rivers doesn’t see it like everyone else does.

“I haven’t played for him my whole life, so it’s not like I had it easy,” Rivers said. The whole rest of my career when I was still successful – the No. 1 player in high school, one of the top five, top 10 players in college at Duke. I wasn’t with my father. I haven’t had it easy.”

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Rivers is averaging 13.5 points and 3 rebounds to start this season.