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.
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.
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 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.
These false rumors are comedy…so fictional it's actually amusing! People will say or do anything to get attention. A lot out there
— Austin Rivers (@AustinRivers25) June 28, 2017
Earlier in the day, Rivers responded to the news of CP3’s trade to Houston by expressing fondness towards Paul.
Dam….cp3 really dipped, was looking forward to lining up with u next year. Learned a lot from u tho bro. One of the best basketball minds
— Austin Rivers (@AustinRivers25) June 28, 2017
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.