Austin Rivers draws inspiration from Doc's coaching struggles

Austin Rivers draws inspiration from Doc's coaching struggles
January 17, 2013, 6:16 am
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BOSTON -- Just one season before Doc Rivers was splashed with a championship-celebratory bucket of Gatorade, the head coach had been verbally splashed with insults and jeers as the Boston Celtics struggled to find a win.
Austin Rivers remembers it all.
Doc's second son was in high school when the Celtics failed to the make the playoffs during the 2005-06 season. He was still a teenager the following year when the Celtics lost 18 in a row.
Disgruntled fans pointed fingers at his father.
So when the Celtics overhauled their roster and won the title 14 months after the conclusion of a 24-win season, Austin experienced a moment with Doc he will never forget.
When they won versus (the) LA (Lakers), I saw the emotion on my dad's face," Austin, now 20, said. "That was probably one of the happiest times I've ever felt for someone else."
Austin returned to the T.D. Garden on Wednesday, this time as a player instead of a spectator. The New Orleans Hornets rookie looked back on his most memorable moment in the building, the instance in when Doc could smile after years frustration and disappointment.
"I was so proud and so happy just because I've seen my father go through season where hes only won 15 games, 20 games," said Austin. "And Ive seen people come to the stands saying, Fire Doc.'"
Austin can relate to the latter emotions, currently going through a first-year learning curve himself. The 10th overall pick in the 2012 NBA Draft entered Wednesday's game averaging just 6.2 points, 2.4 assists, and 2.1 rebounds per game. His minutes have decreased since his freshman (and only) season at Duke University, and he has yet to develop consistency.
"You want to talk about a tough time? You think Im having a tough time?" Austin said. "My fathers gone through stuff 100 times worse, and look where hes at now. To have someone in my corner who has been through all that, I know if he can do it, I've got to work hard and I can do it, too."
Playing against his father, Austin scored eight points in 23 minutes. After watching Doc persevere, he won't stop there.