Austin Rivers: Trips to Boston now all business

Austin Rivers: Trips to Boston now all business
January 3, 2014, 7:30 pm
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(USA Today Sports Images)

BOSTON — This trip to the TD Garden won't be nearly as emotional a roller coaster for New Orleans guard Austin Rivers as it was last season.

The Celtics are a different-looking team, with one of the biggest changes being his dad Doc Rivers now coaching the Los Angeles Clippers in addition to serving as the team's Vice President of Basketball Operations.

Now facing the Celtics or the latest team coached by his dad isn't nearly as big a deal.

"I'm more worried about guarding Chris Paul and Jamal Crawford than going against my dad," said Austin Rivers prior to Friday's game against the Celtics. "It's more about bragging rights between me and him personally."

But being back in Boston, a city Austin frequented from time to time as a youth, does make him reflect upon its significance in the coaching life of his father who won an NBA title in 2008 with the Celtics.

"Boston is what really made my dad go from here, to there," said Austin, showing about a foot of separation between his hands.

Austin was especially pleased to see how the Celtics crowd greeted his father when the Clippers came to town last month.

"My dad loved it here," Austin said. "That's the thing. People think everything is strictly business. This is a business, but at the same time you fall in love with friendships and people. That's what he did here. He really loved it here. It was hard for him to leave."

But the Clippers were offering him not just another chance to coach a title-contending team, but also front office power to decide personnel matters in terms of trades and the signing of free agents.

He had input in Boston, but ultimately those decisions were made by Danny Ainge, Boston's president of basketball operations.

"The (Clippers) offer was so ... it was such a good situation, he had to go," Austin said. "It was a tough situation even then."

As far as the crowd's treatment of his father which included a video tribute that brought Doc Rivers to tears, seeing his father so emotional at that moment was not surprising.

"I was very happy the crowd was very receptive of him when he came back," Austin said. "They were really nice. It's been mixed with other people; you never know. They were great with him."