NORTH CHARLESTON, S.C. Austin Rivers has been around the NBA longer than hes been around grammar school. So he knows the drill better than most rookies.
Dont confuse that with being a know-it-all.
I have seen some things first-hand, so I know how to react, said Rivers, the former Duke star and son of Boston Celtics coach Doc Rivers. But Ive never actually been in this position myself. The main thing is I understand not to let it overwhelm. Dont be a robot.
Rivers left school after his freshman season as a Blue Devil, and went 10th overall to the New Orleans Hornets. He plays for a coach, Monty Williams, who has known Rivers since he was four. Sometimes thats good, like when Rivers detects at the outset of practice Williams is perturbed. Sometimes it just makes it easier for the coach to push Rivers buttons.
Thats good, too, actually.
If anything, he might be harder on me, and thats a great thing its what I want, Rivers said before an exhibition against the Charlotte Bobcats.
The two questions about Rivers before the draft were what position hed play point guard or shooting guard and whether his cocky persona was a plus or a minus.
Williams says he doesnt know what position Rivers is yet. As for cocky, Williams says hes seen nothing in Rivers personality that is counter-productive.
Hes coachable. A lot of the things that are out there about Austin kind of make me laugh, Williams said.
I call it game-winning attitude. Hes got that. Hes not afraid to make those game-winning plays. What Im trying to get him to do is make those same game-winning plays on defense. If he improves in that area, hes going to be a total player.