Austin Rivers believes his one season at Duke, where the Blue Devils went 27-7 but lost their opening-round NCAA Tournament game to Lehigh, helped prepare him for the ups and downs of the NBA game.
“Have tough skin,” Rivers said. “Playing at Duke you are the most scrutinized college in sports, period, especially if you play on the basketball team. So far as far as media pressure, fan pressure, dealing with expectations, dealing with failure, the loss we had (to Lehigh), I’ve dealt with all that stuff. That stuff has all made me tougher, made my skin tougher and allowed me to not ever worry about the hype. I could care less what people think now.”
Rivers isn’t worried about co-existing with Eric Gordon.
“He’s a scoring guard. I’m a scoring guard,” Rivers said. “He can play a little bit of point guard. I can play a little bit of point guard. He can also be a great scorer at the 2. That’s what I am. People say `How can you do it?’ I say because we can both do multiple things, we can play at the same time. Eric’s a guy that I’m excited to be playing with because I want to get better, playing with him and against him in practice.”