Once this was done, Sixers coach Doug Rivers became Knicks’ top pick at Free Company.
The Sixers showed combo guard Austin Rivers as the main target for the November free company. However, the head coach advised against his new bosses.
Senior Rivers, a former Knicks guard in the 1990s, spent free-agency time with their 28-year-old son at their Orlando home. He helped convince Austin that New York was a fascinating destination.
“He was high on Billy’s list before I took the job,” Doug Rivers told The Post. “It’s one of their favorite guards. When I took the job, I said, ‘You don’t need it. You have a lot of things we have to deal with.’
“It simply came to our notice then. He is his own player. Unfortunately for him, since I’m a dad, he’s an easy guy to target. I felt from the break up that it was so good for him. ” ‘
Rivers coached Austin for 3 ½ seasons with clippers. That seemed like enough time. When Knicks showed interest last month, Doc tried to accept the offer for his son and play for the owner he made from 1992-94.
“I kept telling him, ‘New York is a great place,'” Doug Rivers said. “I had a great experience there. That’s what I shared with him. It’s a tough city – in a positive way. He said, ‘What do you mean by this?’ I said, ‘It’s like Boston and Billy. Their fans are real. They want you to play hard, give everything you can and play like a team.’
“I told him, ‘Knicks fans are still Red Holesman’s Knicks fans. They remember how that basketball was played.
During a Zoom interview last week, Austin Rivers was asked if there were sixes on his radar.
“As far as playing for my dad is concerned, this is a wonderful experience that he and I have to do,” he said. “But that’s it.”
Paradoxically, the 2015 Clippers were made into wine and dining as a free agent by former Nix chairman Bill Jackson. At the time, Doug Rivers made sure to keep his son in LA, giving him more years than the Nix.
Now Doug Rivers wants him in New York, thinking he can make his presence with Tom Thibodo’s Knicks significant.
Dibodo won an NBA title in 2008 for Rivers staff in Boston. Theodore knew little of Austin because his son lived in Orlando. Rivers and Thibodo discussed Austin during free company.
“Tom loves competitors – always is,” Doug Rivers said. “We’re very similar – give us 12 competitors, we’ll find it. Whenever we talk about Austin – now we’re very low – Tips loves competitors.”
The last two seasons after playing racquets, There will be a shot to the rivers to start point guarding. However, the Knicks feel he has a better chance of finishing the games.
“This is a young list,” Doug Rivers said. “Now he is a senior. Coming around my head is amazing. But be an example organizer, come in, be fit, play aggressively, everything else works. I see him with this group – really setting the hell out of an example. He had ups and downs and he is still here. It can only be a great teacher for these young people. ”
Rivers will soon see his son. The Knicks Garden opener is on December 26 against the Sixers.
Another factor in Doug Rivers’ excitement is that he will be a 90-minute train ride from Austin and his 2-year-old grandson Cayton.
If the Garden reopens for fans, Doc said he would gladly watch from the reverse stand. Incredibly, he has only seen his son as a parent / fan three times in the NBA – when he came to town early and twice during Austin’s second season Clippers Classic 2018 Rockets-Warriors playoff series in New Orleans.
“Even if I can’t go to the games, I’ll be in New York one day to spend time with my grandson,” Rivers said. “It simply came to our notice then. I was excited because I played there. I said to him, ‘If you get it there, there is no better place than now to get it right.’ ”
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