Rivers to be present for son Austin's draft moment

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Rivers to be present for son Austin's draft moment

BOSTON Although the NBA draft today is a lot different than it was for Doc Rivers when he was coming out of Marquette, it is still a special occasion.

That's why Rivers will be in Newark, New Jersey -- and not Boston -- on Thursday night supporting his son Austin who is projected to be among the first players taken.

The 6-foot-5 shooting guard from Duke was among the handful of players invited to the Green Room at the Prudential Center, the soon-to-be former home of the New Jersey (and soon-to-be Brooklyn) Nets.

Most mock drafts have Rivers, the ACC freshman of the year in his lone season with the Blue Devils, among the top 10 players chosen.

And when Austin takes that stroll towards the podium to shake the hand of NBA commissioner David Stern, Doc Rivers, a former second-round pick in the 1983 NBA draft, will be there to witness it all.

"It'll be really cool; it'll be fun," said Doc Rivers, who added that he will turn around the following morning and head back to Boston where he anticipates there will be a press conference to introduce the two players he expects the C's to select with the No. 21 and No. 22 pick.

"Austin just wants to get it over with, so he can know where he's going and play."

Ainge: McHale's clothesline on Rambis was 'sweet'

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Ainge: McHale's clothesline on Rambis was 'sweet'

If you know anything about basketball in the 1980s and early 1990s, you know it was a physical game. And in the playoffs, that physicality multiplied.

The Boston Celtics were no exception to that. There are countless highlights of Celtics players getting into it with their opponents, but perhaps the most famous incident was when Kevin McHale clothelined the Lakers' Kurt Rambis in Game 4 of the 1984 NBA Finals.

Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge was a member of that team, and discussed that play on Thursday morning with the guys from the Toucher and Rich Show.

“I remember that we were at shootaround the morning of the Kevin McHale / Kurt Rambis clothesline incident,” Ainge said. “They had just beat us by 30 . . . it was Hollywood showtime Lakers all the way and we were humiliated. We came to practice the next day and we had some guys chirping about that, like, ‘We have to take some hard fouls. We cannot let these guys fast break over us and dunk on us in transition. We have to take some hard fouls.’ And I said to the whole team, I like screamed at them, I said, ‘Hey listen, I’m booed in every arena in this league because I’m the only guy who takes hard fouls. I need some of you guys to take some hard fouls. And sure enough Kevin clothelined Kurt Rambis and that was sweet.”