Austin Rivers is his own man and not afraid to speak his mind, and that has impressed his father, Doc. Austin said this weekend that while he admires the NBA’s great players, he, the No. 1 high school prospect in the country, “I don’t want to just meet LeBron, I want to destroy him on the court one day.”
It is that competitive spirit that has made him such an outstanding player and Austin, who is headed to Duke next season, spend time with Doc yesterday after receiving the Wootten Player of the Year Award in Chicago.
Doc, who has encouraged Austin to play fearlessly and with confidence, explained his son’s comments about LeBron James.
“The way it’s being portrayed is not exactly what he said,” Doc said of Austin’s statement. “He actually said ‘I look up to all those guys but if you’re on the floor with them you want to destroy them, you’ve got to have that mentality.’ So I think he better have that mentality or he will get destroyed. I think that’s good.”
Doc likes that Austin has established his own identity.
“The one thing I do like about Austin is that he dismisses all that (son of an NBA coach stuff),” Doc said. “He’s defiant about it. He wants to be his own player, his own person and I think that’s the way he should be.”