Doc Rivers encouraged son Austin to join Knicks instead of 76ers

Josh Lefkowitz / Getty Images Sport / Getty

The Philadelphia 76ers had interest in signing Austin Rivers in free agency, but his father, Sixers head coach Doc Rivers, felt it was best his son take a different path.

In an interview with Marc Berman of the New York Post, Doc explained how he discouraged Austin from following him to Philadelphia.

"He was high on Philly's list before I took the job," Doc said. "It was one of the guards they wanted. When I took the job, I said, 'You don't want that. You got too many other things we have to deal with.'

"For Austin, it's better. He's his own player. Unfortunately for him, me being the dad, he's just an easy guy to target. I have felt since the separation, it's been really good for him."

The elder Rivers instead helped sell Austin on the idea of joining the New York Knicks.

"I kept telling him, 'New York is a great place,'" Doc said. "I had a great experience there. That's what I shared with him. It's a tough city - in a positive way. He said, 'What do you mean by that?' I said, 'It's similar to Boston and Philly. Their fans are real. They want you to play hard, give you everything you can, and play like a team.'

"I told him, 'The Knicks fans are still Red Holzman's Knicks fans. They remember how that basketball was played. They want team basketball, hard-nosed, tough basketball.'"

Austin, 28, played under Doc with the Los Angeles Clippers from 2014-18. He'll face his father for the first time as a member of the Knicks on Dec. 26.

Doc Rivers encouraged son Austin to join Knicks instead of 76ers
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