Father vs. son showdown for Doc & Austin Rivers
In the NBA, sometimes players have to suck it up and play against old teammates and old friends. But Doc Rivers and his son Austin are taking it to another level Wednesday night as Rivers will be coaching his Celtics against son Austin and the Hornets. It’ll be the first time the father and son duo have gone against each other.
“This is just a strange thing. It doesn’t happen often obviously,” Doc said, via USA Today. “As father, it’s nice. It’s nice to see him. The only drawback of him being in the NBA, I haven’t been to a game, and I miss that a little bit.”
According to USA Today, it won’t be the first time the younger Rivers has played against some Celtics players, though. As a high-schooler, Austin went one-on-one against Celtics legend Paul Pierce. When he was a sophomore, Austin apparently almost beat Pierce in a game to five with a 4-2 lead until Pierce scored the next three points.
“It’s going to be a lot of pressure on him. He’s going to be very nervous, tense,” Pierce told reporters Tuesday, via USA Today. “That’s a difficult situation. I couldn’t imagine it. … He was out to get me when he was a high school player so I’m ready for him.”
Austin was a freshman at Duke last season, and his father flew to the games he could get to, watching the rest on TV or via stream.
“He’s still your son,” Doc Rivers said. “He’s going to be my son during the game, before the game, after the game. None of that’s going to change.”
But how does their relationship affect Rivers’ players in Boston? Celtics forward Jeff Green said he isn’t concerned about the relationship and how it’ll change the game for his coach.
“I don’t care if he’s Doc’s kid. He going to get mad at me? He wants us to stop him, right?” Green told reporters. “If he comes through the lane, I’m going to hit him. That’s how it goes. Welcome to the NBA, kid.”