Let’s Put The Past Behind Us
I’ll admit it. I audibly groaned when the Hornets chose point guard Austin Rivers with their tenth pick in the first round Thursday night. Throughout his freshman year of college, he radiated cockiness while being a shoot-first point guard who didn’t always choose a great shot. He’s been called “toxic” and “locker room cancer.” Plus, Duke (enough said). And now HE was going to be on my new favorite team in the city I have already tabbed for my next residence, in charge of sending our boy Anthony Davis sick alley-oops and low-post feeds? It’s enough to make a girl “UUUGGGHHHH.”
But unfortunately, the NBA is not high school (most of the time), and in order for Davis to succeed in NOLA and win allllll the awards next season, Rivers has to succeed as well. It’s just like one of those syllogisms our teachers tried in vain to teach us before the SAT, LSAT, etc: BBN likes people who can help Anthony Davis succeed. Austin Rivers can help Anthony Davis succeed. Therefore, BBN should like Austin Rivers.
That said, I know it won’t be easy for UK fans to flip a switch on Austin Rivers. That’s why I’ve compiled a list of all the things that make Austin Rivers a likable guy, on and off the basketball court. I will concede that it wasn’t easy and I was texting Ally Tucker at 11:36pm last night begging for help. However, it’s a start.
1. Before the draft, Rivers participated in the NBA Cares event, in which 200 Harlem Boys and Girls Club members spent a day with future pros running through drills. He told a reporter after the event, “That was fun.” Charity = good. Plus, MKG was there too- he’s gotta be a good influence on anyone in his general vicinity.
2. He’s a hustler, baby. No, not in the on-court sense exactly- more like in the same sense that Anthony Davis is trying to brand himself. Much like Davis has trademarked the Brow, Rivers is in the process of trademarking the acronym “M.o.a.M”, which stands for Man on a Mission. He describes the motto as “an ideal quote for people to keep on grinding.”
3. He’s not sexist! He’s going to trademark W.o.a.M. too, saying “I want girls to be able to say they’re working hard.” Thanks, Austin! Couldn’t have done it without ya. Title IX, bro!
4. This may be a controversial item on the list, but here’s an early morning confession: when I saw this happen in real life, I was happy for the kid. Making a game-winning shot would be on my sports bucket list (along with landing a triple axel and dunking a basketball), and as long as it’s not against Kentucky, I love the drama, the excitement, and the pure joy seen in those moments. So here. Have a heart.
5. He’s got a great role model. Austin is a coach’s kid. He knows the game and has been around pros his entire life. I’m a Doc Rivers fan, and it seems like Doc has a good head on his shoulders when it comes to knowing when to give his son advice and when to back off a bit. With maturity and time, Austin can grow into the likable guy that his father is.
6. He forgets where he parked his car too. Dukies- they’re just like us.
Now I can’t figure out where I parked my car!! Just great SMDH
— Austin Rivers (@AustinRivers25) May 22, 2012
7. And if all else fails… baby picture!
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