Playing your dad in sports is hard. Not only is he bigger and more experienced than you by way of being a grown up, there’s also a good chance he’s seen every game you’ve ever played and therefore knows every move you’ve ever pulled. Then, if they’re like some dads, they file away that information just in case you should ever try them in a one-on-one game.
That’s the case tonight, as Austin Rivers travels to Boston for his first game against his dad, Celtics coach Doc Rivers. As expected, Diggity Doc has all the best quotes about this special instance. From the CSNNE.com:
The uniqueness of facing his son is not lost on Doc Rivers’ players or his coaching staff.
“I just thought they were way too nice in the scouting report today,” quipped Doc Rivers who added, “It’s a strange thing. As a father, it’s nice to see him. The only drawback of him being in the NBA is I haven’t been to a game. And I miss that a little bit, to be honest. But other than that, it’s really cool.”
Especially for the Rivers family, most — if not all — of whom Doc Rivers expects will be rooting for Austin instead of him.
“When Austin’s not playing, they’re Celtics fans,” said Doc Rivers. “When Austin is playing, they’re Hornets fans or Austin fans for sure.” [...]
“He can have a lot of good games,” Doc said. “He can have 80 good games this year. But there’s two that I don’t really need him to play that well.”
This is a pretty historic moment, friends. As far as I can tell, father and son have only faced each other three times before this (Butch and Jan van Breda Kolff, Mike Dunleavy and Mike Dunleavy, Jr., George and Coby Karl), so you might as well set your DVRs right now. You don’t want to miss this.
Then again, you probably do want to miss this. Not only are the Celtics ninth in the NBA in defensive efficiency, Austin Rivers has the lowest shooting percentage among all guards who are averaging at least 20 minutes per game and have fully functioning legs. That means we’ll see a perfect storm of good defense plus struggling player combined with that innate father knowledge that Doc can utilize to make his son’s life a living
48 five minutes of hell.
And when you consider what Doc said would happen the first time he plays his son, tonight could be really ugly. Just a hunch, but tonight’s game won’t be going on Austin Rivers’ highlight tape.