The Boston Celtics hosted the New Orleans Hornets on Wednesday night in Boston, pitting Doc Rivers against his son, Austin, for the first time in an NBA game. Austin Rivers was a first round pick of New Orleans last June.
Before the game, Austin joked that his mother was rooting for him in the matchup because she loves him more.
“That’s probably right,” Doc said. “I’d love to argue the fact, but yeah. I’m even getting trash talk from my brother. I thought he’d be on my side, but he just texted me and said ‘Go Hornets’ -- I don’t know what that’s all about.”
As the Celtics look to maintain a winning streak, Doc clearly wants to win. He wasn’t looking forward to coaching against his son and believes that he’ll look back on the memory more fondly years from now.
“It’s strange. It’s something I really did not look forward to,” Doc said. “You do one way as a parent, the fact that you are coaching a game that your son is playing in is a really neat moment, but it’s not a moment I’ll enjoy now. Maybe later I will. On the other hand, it’s tough because you’re trying to win a game and you are trying to win a game that your son is playing in. That’s different. It’s unusual.”
While Doc is dealing with a host of emotions, Austin was looking forward to facing a playoff team that he knows extremely well.
“I’ve just tried to treat it as it is. I think a lot of people try to hide the fact that they’re going against a team that they know very well, or when they go against their father, then they try to pretend it’s a normal game,” the younger Rivers said. “It’s pretty much impossible to do that so I just try to treat it as it is, I’m going against a team with guys that I know pretty well and my father coaches the other team.
“I’m just going to have fun with it. This is a fun chance, you know. I’m more excited to play against a playoff caliber team, a Hall of Fame team, that’s why I’m just really excited to go out here and compete tonight. Just have fun in the game whether things are going well or not, and hopefully we will win.”
The Hornets beat the Celtics by a final score of 90-78, with Austin Rivers scoring eight points in 23 minutes.