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Saturday, April 4, 2020

Articles tagged: Austin Rivers

Austin Rivers on Blake Griffin-Chris Paul dynamic: ‘No one knew who the leader was’

The LA Clippers have seen some moderate success to start their first season post-Chris Paul, and guard Austin Rivers thinks that having a clear-cut alpha dog may have something to do with it.

In a feature by Lee Jenkins of Sports Illustrated that ran on Tuesday, Rivers discussed the dynamic between Paul and Blake Griffin on the Clippers.

“The dynamic with Blake and Chris was weird,” he said. “I don’t know why. It was just strange. No one knew who the leader was, and if you had something to say, it would turn into an argument. I think people were sometimes scared to say something to Blake, because you didn’t know how he’d react.

“[Now] he’s a whole different person, more approachable, and I think it’s because we’ve embraced him,” Rivers continued about Griffin. “We know who our leader is. We’re all-in with Blake Griffin.”

Paul and Griffin were teammates on the Clippers for six seasons, leading the team into a high-flying Lob City era that was characterized by regular season triumphs and postseason failures. Rivers himself came aboard during Year 4 and felt all the ups and downs first-hand, especially when it came to Paul.

But now that Paul has moved on to Houston and Griffin stands alone as the captain steering the Clippers’ ship, the pieces of the puzzle are falling into place more easily in Los Angeles, and the supporting cast can definitely feel it.

Austin Rivers called Chris Paul to clear air over Clippers exit

Austin Rivers

Put the Taylor Swift album away because there’s no bad blood between Austin Rivers and Chris Paul.

In an interview with Sam Amick of USA TODAY Sports that ran on Monday, Rivers revealed that he called Paul and they had a roughly 40-minute conversation to clear the air over Paul’s exit from the Los Angeles Clippers.

“I called Chris and was like, ‘Chris, what’s going on?’” said Rivers. “Chris is like, ‘This is the biggest bulls— I’ve ever seen in my life.’ Chris was just like, ‘This is a joke.’ So I asked him, I’m like, ‘You don’t need to come out and say nothing publicly, I don’t need you to do that. It’s just going to make it even more, now they’re going to drag it out two more days. I’ll take it. I don’t care. I’ve been dealing with this since I was six. I really don’t even care.

“What do I have to do with someone else’s move?” Rivers continued. “Chris wanted to move because he’d been [with the Clippers] for a while. He’s had great years there, but he wanted something new. A lot of players want that. It’s really that simple.”

Paul’s sudden departure for the Houston Rockets last month led to reports that he resented both Rivers and his father, Clippers head coach Doc Rivers, over perceived preferential treatment. The elder Rivers had previously shot down those reports, and this should mark the end of that narrative now that it is apparently being refuted directly at the source.

Austin Rivers responds to ‘false’ report about Chris Paul issues

Austin Rivers

Austin Rivers saw the report that circulated on Wednesday saying that Chris Paul was bothered by perceived nepotism on the Clippers, and Rivers decided to address the rumor.

In a tweet sent Wednesday afternoon, Austin Rivers called the report “false rumors.” He dismissed it as “comedy,” “fictional,” and said the person who wrote the information was a clown.

Earlier in the day, Rivers responded to the news of CP3’s trade to Houston by expressing fondness towards Paul.

Austin’s father Doc has been the coach of the Clippers the past four seasons and even served in the front office beginning in 2014. He brought in his son, Austin, in 2015 via a trade with Boston.

A report published on Wednesday after Paul was traded to Houston said CP3 became upset with Doc Rivers because he felt the coach gave preferable treatment towards Austin and made a bad decision by not trading his son.

Report: Chris Paul ‘despises’ Doc Rivers, had issues with treatment of son Austin

Chris Paul

Chris Paul’s departure from the Los Angeles Clippers came as a shock publicly, but if one report is true, it won’t have been a surprise privately.

ESPN’s Michael Eaves shared several alleged reasons that Paul left the Clippers, generally boiling it down to CP3 having a fallout with coach and team president Doc Rivers over the treatment of son Austin Rivers.

According to Eaves, several Clippers, including Paul, felt that Austin Rivers was given preferential treatment by his father, escaped criticism for mistakes where the rest of the team did not, and made no effort to fit in with his teammates as a result. Though veteran players tried to address the situation, Austin Rivers supposedly did not change his behavior, leading to resentment in the locker room.

The last straw, according to Eaves’ source, came last season, when the New York Knicks offered Carmelo Anthony and Sasha Vujacic to the Clippers in exchange for Jamal Crawford, Paul Pierce, and Rivers. Doc Rivers declined the trade, leading to Paul’s perception that the coach and GM was putting his son ahead of improving the team, with one executive stating that the event means Paul “despises” Doc.

Interestingly, former Clipper Glen Davis spoke of this sort of resentment recently, which led to Austin Rivers ripping him publicly. This is now the second time we’ve heard that there is something to it, and it ultimately may have cost the Clippers one of their superstars.

What’s notable is Austin Rivers did have something positive to say about CP3:

Glen Davis fires back after being ripped by Austin Rivers

It’s safe to say Glen “Big Baby” Davis and the Rivers family are not going to be sitting down to a nice dinner together anytime soon.

Davis spent most of his eight-year NBA career playing under Doc Rivers, but they ended up parting ways on bad terms when the big fella left the Los Angeles Clippers. Rivers’ son Austin, who was teammates with Davis in L.A., said things between Davis and his father went south because Big Baby was “constantly out of shape,” late for work and didn’t remember plays.

Here’s what Davis thinks about that:

Davis recently said that the father-son dynamic between Doc and Austin created resentment in the Clippers locker room. He also had some interesting reasons for why his relationship with Doc soured. Now all we need to do is get Doc’s side of the story to really heat things up.

Austin Rivers rips ‘out of shape’ Glen Davis over comments about him and his father

Austin Rivers

Austin Rivers is letting his former LA Clippers teammate have it.

In an appearance on FOX Sports 1’s “Undisputed” on Wednesday, Rivers was asked about ex-teammate Glen “Big Baby” Davis’ feud with his father, Clippers head coach Doc Rivers, and Davis’ recent comments that the Rivers father-son dynamic had caused resentment in the Clippers locker room.

“That’s a bunch of BS,” said the younger Rivers. “That’s just Baby talking … I’ve heard Baby say to me multiple times, ‘Oh man, you know why Doc is so good, Doc is so great.’ And then now he’s saying bad things about him. It’s a huge contradiction. And I don’t have a problem with Baby, me and Baby have always been cool, but it makes no sense to what he’s doing.

“Whatever he has between him and my pops, and you know Pops said the jokes about his weight and stuff like that,” continued the Clippers guard. “But let me ask you something. If someone is constantly out of shape, late, don’t remember plays, how the hell are you supposed to play? I don’t know where that even goes with the team. And that has nothing to do with him coming at my father. I really don’t care, that’s between him and my pops.

“But as far as him talking about me being my coach’s [son], that’s never had a play on the team,” Rivers said. “I’ve earned every stripe I’ve gotten, earned every playing time. That’s just him talking out the side of his neck. I don’t even understand where that comes from, so I’m not even paying that no mind.”

Rivers and Davis were teammates on the Clippers during the 2014-15 season, but Davis played under the elder Rivers in Boston for four seasons prior to that. Davis recently explained his side of the feud with Doc, but he may have started a new one with Austin in the process.

Doc Rivers on idea of dealing son Austin: ‘I would trade anyone’

Ball is truly life for Los Angeles Clippers head coach Doc Rivers.

In an interview with Rachel Nichols of ESPN on Friday, Rivers, who also serves as the Clippers’ president of basketball operations, said that he would considering trading anyone on the roster, including his son Austin.

“We’re not talking to anyone; people are talking to us — I guess I can say that,” Rivers said. “Listen, we love our team. We believe we are good enough right now. Having said that, my job is to look at this team and see if we can get better. And if we can, we’ll do it.

“Listen, I would trade anyone,” Rivers continued upon being pressed specifically about the possibility of dealing away Austin. “You have to be willing to do that … and he would be one of them. And any of them would be one. But I don’t want to trade any of our guys. I like our team.”

The heat has been turned up on the elder Rivers recently with all the talk of the Clippers pursuing a trade for disgruntled New York Knicks forward Carmelo Anthony. The general sentiment is also that they would have to include Austin in any potential deal for Anthony.

The Clippers haven’t had the strongest track record of trades in the Rivers era. They gave away Jared Dudley and a future first-round pick to Milwaukee for nothing in 2014 and their move last trade deadline to surrender another future first for two-plus months of Jeff Green was just objectively bad. Rivers has also been reluctant to trade away certain core players in the recent past.

But this time around is different. The Clippers have their backs against the wall as this may be the last hurrah for their current nucleus. Chris Paul, J.J. Redick, and Blake Griffin can all leave after the season is over, and they simply may not have enough firepower to realistically compete with the likes of the Golden State Warriors right now. As such, Rivers needs to be ready to pull the trigger if/when the right piece, somebody like an Anthony, becomes available, and it sounds like he is.