Los Angeles Clippers head coach Doc Rivers finally spoke about the trading of his son Austin Rivers this summer and it’s impact.
Doc Rivers, the head coach of the Los Angeles Clippers, has seen the roster completely overhauled in the time since he lost his front office powers. This summer, he saw the last of the main trio of Lob City leave in DeAndre Jordan after losing Chris Paul the off season prior and Blake Griffin halfway through the year.
Still, this move wasn’t the most personal for Doc. Losing a star is big, but having your son who has grown under your tutelage leave has to be hard. Doc maintained professionalism throughout the time he had Austin Rivers on the Clippers. But now with his son going to the Wizards, Doc was able to step back and show his emotions.
He had this to say in a statement to the Boston Herald:
It wasn’t difficult in the fact that I think he is going to a great place…It’s just difficult in the fact there’s nothing in a manual that says how to trade your own son. At least I haven’t read that coach’s manual.
It can’t be easy. Although both parties handled their time together well, there had to be some difficulties in being the first father/son combination in the league.
Austin did have his career saved by Doc. There’s no way around it and it’s likely why both media and fans cried nepotism. And yet the young guard did improve and now is the type of players most franchises would want on their team.
“He’s grown so much more, just look at his numbers last year. His numbers were off the chart. He came into the league at 20 and he grew,” Rivers said. “That’s what you want your players to do and that’s what he did.”
Last season, Austin averaged career numbers nearly across the board. In 61 games, the guard averaged 15.1 points on 42.4% shooting, including both a career high 37.8% from deep on a career high 5.9 attempts.
Both Rivers will have fresh starts this season. Doc has a healthy roster with two rookies while Austin will be getting big minutes off the bench for a likely playoff contender. Not everyone loved their tenure together with the Clippers, but no one can argue that it wasn’t productive.