Austin Rivers draws inspiration from Doc's coaching struggles


Austin Rivers draws inspiration from Doc's coaching struggles

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.

Brady allows himself to enjoy win: '[Bleep], you've got to be happy now'

Brady allows himself to enjoy win: '[Bleep], you've got to be happy now'

FOXBORO -- Tom Brady can be his own worst critic. That's why last week, after beating the Texans in the Divisional Round to move on to the AFC title game, he wasn't thrilled. He didn't play up to his standards. The offense struggled at points. He wore his frustration like a five o'clock shadow.

Winning is not everything for Brady, most weeks. He has an idea of how he should perform, how the Patriots offense should perform, and when those ideals aren't met, he's generally displeased. 


On Sunday, after beating up on the Steelers, 36-17, that wasn't the case. It was a sound performance, but it wasn't perfect. It was explosive at times, but it shined a light on areas where the Patriots will need to continue to improve. 

Despite its imperfections, Sunday was no time to brood about plays missed or lessons learned the hard way. Screw it, Brady seemed to say. They were going to the Super Bowl. It was OK to smile.  

"It was a good day," Brady said. "I mean, we're going to the Super Bowl, man. [Expletive], you've got to be happy now."

The Super Bowl berth is the ninth in franchise history -- more than any other club -- and the seventh with Brady and coach Bill Belichick. By throwing for 384 yards and three touchdowns on 32-of-42 passing, Brady tied Joe Montana for the most postseason games (nine) with three touchdown passes. 

Brady will also claim the record for Super Bowls played when he and the Patriots head to Houston. And if they win, he'll tie Charles Haley for most Super Bowl wins for a player (five).

Those are lofty numbers made even more significant, perhaps, due to the fact that Brady wasn't allowed to start this season as his team's quarterback. He was asked during Sunday's postgame press conference if it was personally satisfying to get back to the Super Bowl despite having to serve a four-game suspension due to Deflategate.

"Well, that's because of the hard work of a lot of people from my coaches to my teammates to our families that support us," he said. "It takes a lot of people, a lot of hard work and a lot of effort over the course of many months. This didn't start at 6:40 tonight.

"This thing started in April. It really started before that in free-agency when we were picking up guys like [Chris] Hogan and drafting guys like Malcolm Mitchell and guy who were in rehab like [LeGarrette Blount] and [Dion Lewis] and [James Develin] and Nate [Solder]. It's a lot of hard work. There are only two teams left standing, and I'm happy we're one of them."

They're going to the Super Bowl. He has to be happy now.