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:
Glen "Big Baby" Davis responds to Austin Rivers's claim that he didn't remember plays and was constantly out of shape in IG rant pic.twitter.com/EEtuzAQB3x
— Sports Illustrated (@SInow) June 1, 2017
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 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.
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.
The potential arrival of Carmelo Anthony in Los Angeles is likely to come at the expense of the Rivers family.
According to Dan Woike of the Orange County Register, guard Austin Rivers, who is the son of head coach Doc Rivers and whom the New York Knicks pursued in free agency last summer, will “almost certainly” be included if the Los Angeles Clippers trade for Anthony.
Trade would almost certainly include Austin Rivers, who the Knicks liked in free agency this summer. https://t.co/I0gqpGmVRH
— Dan Woike (@DanWoikeSports) January 26, 2017
The 24-year-old Rivers is one of the precious few young assets the Clippers have remanining on their roster. They already dealt away many of their future first-round picks, and the ones they have left are likely to fall in the less desirable mid-to-low 20s range.
Rivers is averaging 11.9 points on 44.9 percent shooting (both career-highs) to go with 2.0 rebounds and 2.6 assists per game in 2016-17 and has proven to be a very capable NBA rotation guard. But an Anthony return package centered around him is severely underwhelming. The Clippers would also likely have to attach Jamal Crawford (in Year 1 of a three-year, $42 million deal), Wesley Johnson (also Year 1 of a three-year, $18 million deal), or J.J. Redick (making $7.38 million in the final year of his deal) just for the salaries to match up.
Such is life with the Clippers unwilling to part with any of their Big Three of Chris Paul, Blake Griffin, and DeAndre Jordan. Still, the Knicks seem willing to work around that, so there may be at least some smoke to these rumors.
Neither Doc nor Austin Rivers were around for the end of Friday’s game between the Rockets and Clippers.
After driving to the basket and missing a layup during the second quarter, Austin’s momentum carried him toward the official and he made contact, which was apparently deemed intentional by the official because he assessed two technical fouls to the younger Rivers. That, of course, carries an ejection. During a stoppage in play, father Doc was given his marching orders after words with head official Jason Phillips.
Here’s video of what happened.
Like father, like son?
Austin Rivers and Doc Rivers get ejected within minutes of each other ? pic.twitter.com/KTvfQGMwCG
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) December 31, 2016
Rivers’ contact with the official did appear to be incidental so it’s understandable he would be upset with the decision, although his actions might draw the attention of the league. And it was probably a matter of when, not if, Doc would join his son in the locker room.
Oddly enough, this isn’t the first time Doc and Austin Rivers have been ejected from the same game this season. Both were tossed from a game against the Wizards in December.
The Rivers family dinners live to see another day!
According to a report by Dan Woike of the Orange County Register on Saturday, Austin Rivers has reached an agreement to re-sign with the Los Angeles Clippers on a three-year deal.
Per source Austin Rivers has agreed to a 3-year deal with the Clippers
— Dan Woike (@DanWoikeSports) July 2, 2016
Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical adds that the deal is worth $35 million-plus and includes a player option for the third year.
— The Vertical (@TheVertical) July 3, 2016
Rivers, 23, averaged 8.9 points per game, 1.9 rebounds per game, and 1.5 assists per game for the Clippers in 2015-16. He was acquired by his father Doc, head coach and general manager of the Clippers in early 2015, leading to widespread punchlines of nepotism and preferential treatment. But Austin slowly earned his keep on the team through hard work, hustle, and an emphasis on perimeter defense, settling into a role as a key contributor for the Clippers’ second unit.
The former No. 10 overall pick declined his $3.3 million option for 2016-17 and appears to have been rewarded handsomely for the decision.
Alex Kennedy of Basketball Insiders also notes that, on top of the Rivers agreement, the Clippers made an offer Saturday to retain reigning Sixth Man of the Year Jamal Crawford as well, which likely takes them out of the running for Kevin Durant.
- Austin Rivers
“Sorry, dad, but business is business.”
We imagine the conversation between Austin Rivers and his father will go something like that when the Clippers guard informs the team of his decision to decline his player option to become a free agent. According to ESPN’s Marc J. Spears, that’s exactly what Austin is doing.
Clippers guard Austin Rivers has decided not to exercise his player option for next season & will test free agency this summer. @ASM_SPORTS
— Marc J. Spears (@MarcJSpearsESPN) June 1, 2016
Austin Rivers was a first-round pick by the Pelicans in 2012 and was acquired by the Clippers in 2015. His dad, Doc, is the Clippers’ head coach and GM and decided to trade for his son last January.
Austin has often been ridiculed for failing to live up to his status as the 10th player selected in the draft and the hype surrounding him when he arrived at Duke for college. However, he earned the respect of fans and his peers when he scored 21 points in a Game 6 loss to the Trail Blazers in the playoffs while playing through a nasty eye injury, and he still is only 23, with plenty of room to grow.
Perhaps Austin will want to sign somewhere he will have a chance to play more than the 21.9 minutes per game he averaged last season with the Clippers. His player option for next season would have paid him $3.3 million.