The Los Angeles Clippers are struggling on many fronts.
Blake Griffin and Chris Paul are out for the rest of the playoffs. LA trails the Portland Trailblazers 3-2 when at one point it looked like the Clippers, who led this series 2-1, could give the depleted Warriors a run for their money in the second round. The Clippers’ championship window with this roster seems to be closing, and an offseason roster shakeup might be in the works.
Adding another layer of sadness for the organization: Austin Rivers’ post-game press conference Wednesday made it clear he and his father don’t have a great relationship. Context: in the pre-game press conference, his father, Clippers head coach Doc Rivers, was brought to tears when a question reminded him of his late mother.
Doc Rivers gets emotional when talking about his mother, Bettye, who passed away last year. pic.twitter.com/LQZmgKXjM8— Arash Markazi (@ArashMarkazi) April 28, 2016
Austin was asked about the moment after the game, and his answer revealed the Rivers’ unusual father-son dynamic.
“She was his rock,” Austin said. “My father’s a very private person. I mean a very private person. His life outside of basketball, he doesn’t really share it with anybody … He doesn’t really share his life outside of basketball with me.
“He and I don’t know each other like that. We know each other as strictly basketball. A lot of people on the outside don’t understand that because people think we have a relationship like every other father and son. We just don’t. That’s because he’s been gone my whole life, and that’s fine.”
This is the sad reality of many coaches’ lives: they’re married to the game, working and traveling constantly, and they miss out on family time. We can only hope Austin and Doc are able to grow closer as the years go on and basketball becomes a less prevalent aspect of Austin’s life when he retires.
Austin had his best game of the playoffs Wednesday, posting 13 points, three boards, and three assists. LA is back in action at Portland Friday at 10:30 p.m. on ESPN.
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[via FOX Sports]