Austin Rivers draws inspiration from Doc's coaching struggles

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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.

WATCH: Celtics vs. Suns

WATCH: Celtics vs. Suns

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Jones-Molina WBC spat is a clash of cultures . . . and that's great

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Jones-Molina WBC spat is a clash of cultures . . . and that's great

The Adam Jones-Yadier Molina verbal skirmish is as predictable as it is annoying.

Was every cultural nuance for the 16 World Baseball Classic teams explained in a booklet the players had to memorize before the tournament?

No? Then it’s amazing there weren’t more moments like this.

Jones, the Orioles outfielder, said Team USA's championship game win over Puerto Rico was motivated by Puerto Rico's choice to plan a post-tournament parade for the team before the final game.

As Jones and his teammates know, parades in pro sports are for championship teams. Red Sox fans are likely aware of this.

As Jones and his teammates know, discussing a parade before a title is secured suggests overconfidence. Rex Ryan fans are likely aware of this.

After an 8-0 win for the U.S., Jones revealed the parade was used as bulletin-board material.

"Before the game, we got a note that there was some championship shirts made -- we didn't make 'em -- and a flight [arranged],” Jones said. “That didn't sit well with us. And a parade -- it didn't sit well with us."

But apparently, Jones didn't know the full context of the parade. It was reportedly planned regardless of whether Puerto Rico won.

One Team USA teammate of Jones whom CSNNE spoke with didn't believe that, however.

"It was called a champions parade that got turned into a celebration parade once they lost," the player said. "I think they just don't like getting called out by Jones, but all Jones did was tell exactly what happened."

Jones’ comments weren’t received well.

Puerto Rico's going through a trying time, a recession, and the entire island rallied behind the team.

“Adam Jones . . . is talking about things he doesn't know about," Molina told ESPN’s Marly Rivera. "He really has to get informed because he shouldn't have said those comments, let alone in public and mocking the way [preparations] were made.”

No one should be upset Jones explained what he was thinking.

Jones actually asked MLB Network host Greg Amsinger, “Should I tell the truth?”

Yes. It’s better than lying.

Look at the reactions across the WBC: the bat flips, the raw emotion. Honesty conveyed via body language.

People in the U.S. are starting to accept and crave those reactions. The WBC helped promote a basic idea: let people be themselves.

Jones said what was on his mind. We can’t celebrate bat flips and then say Jones should keep his mouth shut.

But there's an unreasonable expectation being placed on Jones here.

He heard about a parade -- which is to say, a subject he wouldn't normally think twice about or investigate before a championship baseball game.

Plus, it gave him motivation.

Why is Jones, or anyone with Team USA, more responsible for gaining an advance understanding of Puerto Rico’s parade-planning conventions -- we're talking about parade planning! -- than Puerto Rico is responsible for keeping U.S. norms in mind when making and/or talking about those plans?

No one involved here was thinking about the other’s perception or expectation. It's impossible to always do so.

But that’s how these moments develop: what’s obvious to one party is outlandish to the other.

Now Molina, Puerto Rico's catcher, wants an apology.

"He has to apologize to the Puerto Rican people," Molina told ESPN. "Obviously, you wanted to win; he didn't know what this means to [our] people."

Jones can clear the air with an apology, but he doesn't owe one. And he definitely doesn't owe one after Molina took it a step further.

"I'm sending a message to [Jones], saying, 'Look at this, right now you're in spring training working out, and we're with our people, with our silver medals,' " Molina said. "You're in spring training and you're working . . . you have no idea how to celebrate your honors, you don't know what it means.”

Team USA had no parade. Manager Jim Leyland made clear how the U.S. was celebrating, by recognizing those serving the country.

The silver lining here is how much attention the WBC has drawn, and how much conversation it can drive. People care, a great sign for the sport -- and its potential to foster better understanding across cultures.

Internationally, the sport is on parade.