Doc Rivers’ Green Lighting Trade To Bring His Son to His Team Is Rare Case of Black Nepotism in NBA

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Father and son are now on the same team.
Father and son are now on the same team.

Blacks are hardly ever in a position on professional sports teams to use their influence to add family members to a team for which they work. You see it all the time on the other side. But Doc Rivers has the juice as coach and president of basketball operations, and he used it.

His son, 22-year-old Austin Rivers, is a member of the Los Angeles Clippers, and he’s out of Boston and playing for Daddy because Daddy made it happen. The Clippers traded first-round pick Reggie Bullock to the Phoenix Suns and Chris Douglas-Roberts and a second-round draft pick to the Celtics for Doc Rivers’ son, who has not distinguished himself as an NBA player. Oh, and they cut Jordan Farmar, to make room for Austin.

Austin Rivers has not done much on the court, but he will make history, though. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, when Doc Rivers puts his son in a game, Austin Rivers will become the first son to play for his father in NBA history. Coby Karl was briefly a member of the Denver Nuggets in 2010 under his father George Karl. However, Coby did not play for Denver during that stint, which occurred while his father was out recovering from throat cancer.

Doc Rivers apparently wanted his son around to spend time with because there does not appear to be room for him to play on a team with championship ambitions. It actually, when you look at it, could have been a move by the father to extend the career of his son.

“I probably show favoritism to Blake (Griffin) and Chris (Paul),” Doc Rivers said. “I love my son, but I think I’m going to still favor Blake and Chris and those guys.”

Whether Austin Rivers is really a player or not is open to debate. He was drafted 10th overall by New Orleans in 2012 after one season at Duke. He averaged 6.8 points, 1.9 rebounds, 2.3 assists and 21.4 minutes in 35 games this season for the Pelicans. In 165 games in three seasons with New Orleans, he averaged 6.9 points, 2.3 assists, 1.9 rebounds and 21.4 minutes.

His contract is up after this season. Now he has some place to land, with his father having created the cushion.

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