Rockets’ Austin Rivers recounts turning point after early career NBA shocker
Houston Rockets guard Austin Rivers has carved himself a niche with his new team after years of being labeled as a misfit in this league. His run-ins with injuries, fluctuating minutes, and constantly changing roles paved a path of frustration for him early in his career — one that seemed doomed from its early start.
The son of an NBA coach and former player Doc Rivers was traded early into his third season to the team his father coached, further entangling his career with naysayers and drama ensnaring more than his play:
“I’ll never count myself out, but in terms of accepting who you are, I’m fine with that. I love where I’m at,” said Rivers, according to Gary Washburn of The Boston Globe. “I was 19 years old. I thought I knew everything and things don’t work, which is the first time in my life it didn’t work. Even at Duke it was easy for me, I was better than everybody. I come here, and I didn’t play well.”
Rivers reflected as to where his career took a turning point for the better:
“I had to stop trying to point the finger and take ownership and figure it out myself,” said Rivers. “Once I did that, I did a complete 180 and every year I continue to build. I’m OK where I am at.”
The Orlando native soon realized it’s a lot tougher to become a star in the NBA than it is in high school and college, making his transition a few giant buckets of cold water after setting the high school and AAU circuits on fire early in his career.
Rivers has now settled down nicely in a reserve role for the Rockets, providing a much-needed spark off the bench for a team hoping to peak at the right time ahead of an impending playoff run.
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