Cooler heads finally appear to be prevailing (at least to some extent) amidst the hostilities between the LA Clippers and the Houston Rockets.
Ramona Shelburne of ESPN reported on Wednesday that Clippers guard Austin Rivers and Rockets forward Trevor Ariza spoke to each other shortly after their postgame incident earlier this week in order to work out their differences. Shelburne does add however that Rivers has yet to reach a resolution with his former teammate, Rockets guard Chris Paul.
Addendum to the Rockets-Clippers story: Austin Rivers and Trevor Ariza had a conversation soon after the incident to resolve their differences. There has been no resolution between Austin Rivers and Chris Paul, however.
— Ramona Shelburne (@ramonashelburne) January 18, 2018
Punishments for the incident were handed down by the league on Wednesday with Ariza and Gerald Green drawing two-game suspensions but no other members of the Rockets or the Clippers being disciplined. It’s a bit surprising to hear that some of the tensions died down this quickly, especially after what we learned about Ariza’s role in the skirmish. Nevertheless though, it sounds like things are still pretty frosty between the two ex-mates Rivers and Paul.
Matt Barnes does not appear to look back too fondly on his time with at least a couple of members of the LA Clippers organization.
Appearing this week on SiriusXM’s Mad Dog Sports Radio, Barnes took some shots at Clippers coach Doc Rivers and his son Clippers guard Austin Rivers.
#ICYMI – @Matt_Barnes22 tells @NicoleZaloumis & @RicBucher that Austin Rivers is a fake tough guy who's "arrogant" and Doc Rivers is responsible for "the demise of the Clippers". Hear the full interview On Demand with the @SIRIUSXM app! #LCLonMDSR pic.twitter.com/Y1WYRKEjxr
— Mad Dog Sports Radio (@MadDogRadio) January 17, 2018
“To see them go after Austin isn’t surprising,” said the retired swingman, in reference to the postgame melee between the Clippers and the Rockets on Monday. “Austin kinda rubs dudes the wrong way, talks a lot of trash, and doesn’t really back it up. So I think people are probably tired of that.
“He’s just very arrogant,” Barnes added of Austin. “Hearing guys talk around the league and seeing guys that had a problem while I was playing with him, I could see why. He carries himself like he’s a ten-time All-Star, and he’s not. That kind of arrogance rubs guys the wrong way, and if you’re talking trash on top of that, there are some guys in the NBA that it’s not gonna happen.”
Barnes was then asked about Doc and proceeded to throw some more shade.
“Doc played a vital role in, I’d probably say, the demise of the Clippers,” he said. “At the beginning, he did well, but then I think his players started seeing through him. Say one thing, do another thing, do things like give his son a bunch of money, sign his son. As players, that’s the kinda stuff you talk about — from JJ [Redick] to Chris [Paul] to myself, the guys on the team still. You’ve seen the best of the Clippers the way they’re built as they stand now.”
Barnes, who retired this offseason after winning a championship with the Golden State Warriors, was with the Clippers for three seasons from 2012 to 2015 (not counting a brief stint with them back at the start of his NBA career in 2004). Doc was his coach for the last two of those seasons, and Austin was his teammate for the last one.
We recently heard similar comments from another former Clipper who was on the team with the Rivers family, and it seems that this is becoming something of a trend for players once they depart from Lob City.
The Los Angeles Clippers got relatively good news on Austin Rivers Saturday.
Rivers left Friday’s game against the Los Angeles Lakers with an Achilles injury, but a Saturday MRI came back negative, and the strain is only expected to keep him out on a day-to-day basis, according to Yahoo Sports’s Shams Charania.
Sources: MRI on Clippers guard Austin Rivers' right Achilles tendon strain returned negative today, and he's expected to be day-to-day.
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) December 30, 2017
The Clippers can’t quite seem to catch a complete break from the injuries, but this is the best news they could have hoped for. They just got Blake Griffin back, and luckily, it sounds like Rivers won’t be a long-term absence.
Austin Rivers will miss the Los Angeles Clippers’ next game after suffering a concussion on Wednesday night against the Orlando Magic.
Rivers was elbowed in the side of the head by Jonathan Simmons just before halftime and left the game. The Clippers later announced he would not be returning to the game and that he was being tested. The team said after the game that he had suffered a concussion.
Rivers scored nine points in 18 minutes before leaving the game, which the Clippers won 106-95. He’s averaging 14.8 points, 3.6 assists and 1.4 steals per game this season, all career-high marks.
The Clippers are already without Blake Griffin and Patrick Beverley, though they did just get Milos Teodosic back, so they really can’t afford to lose more players.
The Clippers are at Washington on Friday, Miami on Saturday and San Antonio on Monday.
Los Angeles Clippers guard Austin Rivers will find himself a bit lighter in the wallet thanks to his outburst at a fan on Thursday.
The NBA announced Saturday that Rivers was fined $25,000 for his actions in the game against the Utah Jazz, via Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN.
Rivers went off on a fan during Thursday night’s loss, which you can see here (warning: there is inappropriate language). He later explained that he had lost patience with the fan because he was being “fairweather.”
Rivers’ outburst is simply the latest sign of a frustrated team that is not living up to expectations. With Blake Griffin potentially out for a while, that frustration is only going to grow, and big changes could be in store.
Los Angeles Clippers point guard Austin Rivers decided late in Thursday night’s loss to the Utah Jazz that he had heard enough from a fan sitting courtside, and that led to an ugly verbal exchange. After the game, Rivers explained why he was so upset.
Television cameras captured Rivers telling the fan he was being “disrespectful” and that he should “shut the f— up.” Rivers said the fan didn’t even say anything about him personally, but he felt the need to fire back.
“He was being a fairweather a– fan,” Rivers said, via ClutchPoints.com. “He was talking s— about the team, but he was cheering the first half. And then the second half he was talking about Steve Ballmer and Doc (Rivers) and (DeAndre Jordan) and saying demeaning stuff to my other teammates (like), ‘Austin and DJ, y’all need help.’
“I don’t like that. I like fans who ride or die with you, and there’s a lot of good ones here that show up to the game. He was talking s— about the team, not even me.”
You can see the video of the exchange here, but beware that it contains inappropriate language.
Rivers, who scored a season-high 25 points in the game, said he apologized to the fan before leaving the court.
“I went up after the game and apologized to the guy cuz at the end of the day, I’m the professional, he’s not,” Rivers said. “We shook hands and said my bad.”
Professional athletes are supposed to be just that, but they’re also humans. This isn’t the first time we’ve seen an NBA player lash out at fans, and it won’t be the last.
Austin Rivers is struggling a bit in his expanded role with the Los Angeles Clippers this season, and it appears his frustrations boiled over during Thursday night’s loss to the Utah Jazz.
With the Clippers trailing by 19 late in the fourth quarter, Rivers heard something from a fan sitting courtside that he simply couldn’t ignore. The point guard walked over to where the fan was sitting and told him he was being “disrespectful.” He also tossed out a four-letter word.
Austin Rivers got into a discussion with a fan that ended with him saying "shut the f*** up" pic.twitter.com/mTJXC9x7PX
— CJ Fogler (@cjzero) December 1, 2017
Rivers actually scored 25 points in the game, which was a season high for him. With Chris Paul gone and Blake Griffin expected to miss up to two months because of a knee injury, the Clippers will need Rivers to step up.
As someone who tends to open himself up for criticism by being vocal, you would think Rivers would be used to hearing things from heckling fans. Whatever the gentleman in Utah said apparently pushed him over the edge.