Austin Rivers, son of Los Angeles Clippers head coach Doc Rivers, began his third NBA season with the New Orleans Pelicans; but much like his first two seasons, he didn’t make much of a name for himself with his play on the court.
The 10th overall selection back in 2012 has always been second-best. Even as a top-10 selection, he was always overshadowed by Anthony Davis—the 1st overall pick in the draft the same season.
After two and a half years with the Pels, Rivers was traded and eventually ended up in the hands of his father with the Clippers. A few months later, the playoffs rolled around; and suddenly, Rivers is the most improved player on the court.
“Keep playing,” Doc would always tell his son. Rivers has had a lot of trouble on the court in his short career; but his father obviously sees the full potential of his son, the former Duke standout. Doc received a lot of criticism for picking up his own son; but after his double-digit scoring performances in the playoffs, the same fans that were doubting Doc were chanting his son’s name.
Rivers had a few good games in the San Antonio Spurs series, including 16 points in Game 4; however, the Houston Rockets were not at all ready for what Rivers would be bringing to the table in the Western Conference Semi-finals.
Austin Rivers poured in 25 points in Game 3 with Chris Paul still partially recovering from his hamstring injury. In fact, at one point Rivers scored 15 points in less than five minutes. Another 12 points in Game 4, and Rivers is a household name in the basketball world.
“They’re all my sons,” said Doc when asked about his biological child’s amazing performance in Game 3. “You enjoy it a little bit, but not really.”
Something tells me Doc Rivers was underselling his excitement a little. Sure, you’re the coach; but there has to be a part of him watching from the bench, saying, “Wow. My son is tearing it up out there in the NBA playoffs.”