Doc and Austin Rivers
Every other line of the hook in his Billboard top 10 single We Fly High – Hustler’s P.O.M.E. (Product of My Environment) – EP, Jim Jones rhythmically chants what Austin Rivers had better be doing every time he steps foot on court in a Los Angeles Clippers uniform, “BALLIN!” Thursday, Clipper head coach and president of basketball operations Doc Rivers, in a three team deal with the Boston Celtics and the Phoenix Suns, boldly dealt two players and a piece of the Clippers’ future to acquire Rivers, who is also his son. The Clippers sent former first-round draft pick Reggie Bullock to the Suns, and swingman Chris Douglas-Roberts and a 2017 second-round draft pick to the Celtics.
To date, the younger Rivers is most famous for his three point buzzer beater on February 8, 2012 , lifting the Duke Blue Devils to a 85-84 victory over the University of North Carolina Tarheels, ending UNC’s 31 game winning streak; and for being Doc Rivers’ son. He declared himself eligible for the NBA draft in March of 2012, foregoing his final three years of college and was snagged 10th overall by the then New Orleans Hornets. Rivers has been a below average NBA player at best, averaging 6.9 points, 2.3 assists, 1.9 rebounds, and 21.4 minutes in his three year career; thus many are questioning the elder Rivers’ decision. Is he attempting to resurrect his son’s career, does he really believe his son can help the Clippers who are in dire need of wing defense,(Austin is a point guard), or did Doc fall and bump his head?
To reach the Finals in the West, the Clippers will have to battle the likes of : Kevin Durant, James Harden, Klay Thompson, and Kawhi Leonard. Leonard won Finals MVP last season. Durant is a 5 time NBA All-Star, and was last year’s league MVP. Harden leads the league in scoring at 27.0 points per game and is a strong candidate for this year’s MVP. Thompson is averaging 21.7 points, 3.7 rebounds, 3.5 assists, and 1.3 steals. “BALLIN!” It stands to reason that if the Clippers were going to make a trade, why not give Matt Barnes and Jamal Crawford, neither of whom are stellar defenders, some help on the wing? So now Austin Rivers, amid the whispers of nepotism and scrutiny regarding his father and now coach’s decision to sign him, one thing is certain; to silence the critics, he’d better ball.