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Doc had watched many of his son’s games earlier in the season.
“When I was in New Orleans, I’d talk to him a lot, because he would help me through what I was going through,” Austin said. Doc stalked the Boston Celtics sideline much of the year and could be an active father to his four children only during brief respites from the NBA.
1 overall pick, and coach Monty Williams had played with and under Doc. “New Orleans just wasn’t anything for me,” he said. Austin appeared uncomfortable as New Orleans tried to transform him into a point guard.
“You could just tell by his facial expressions,” said Austin’s older sister, Callie.
“Duke is bigger than [one person] — this isn’t Austin Rivers, this is Duke University,” Joseph said.
“That was a very good learning point for him, and once he caught on and started to understand it’s Coach K’s way or the highway, he started playing well.” Austin began to turn his season around after he hit a game-winning shot against North Carolina in Chapel Hill to give Duke an 85-84 victory.
I got punched in the mouth, and it took me a while to adjust,” Austin said.
“I kind of had my confidence — I don’t want to say taken away, because no one should ever be able to take your confidence away.
uring the rocky beginnings of his pro career, when Austin Rivers was running low on both confidence and playing time, he would seek advice from an NBA head coach — but not the one he played for.
That’s one of the benefits of being Doc Rivers’s son.
The Blue Devils had captured a championship two years before Austin arrived and had bowed out in the Sweet 16 the following season.
In 2011-12, Austin was pegged to lead a talented Duke squad back into championship contention, but that group struggled to coalesce.
Austin had always imagined hitting big shots against his dad’s teams — not for them. If they don’t read it, one of their buddies has told them about it, right? If you’re human, it’s going to affect you.” Once consummated, the trade, via the Celtics, rejuvenated Austin’s career and provided highlight moments in playoff performances against the Spurs and Rockets. He regarded himself as one of the worst players on one of his initial youth basketball teams, and outsiders were happy to agree.