Houston Rockets guard Austin Rivers sat down with his father and talked about how he believes Lakers fans caused Doc to get fined last summer.
Say what you will about fans of the Los Angeles Lakers, but there’s no denying they are a passionate bunch. Houston Rockets guard Austin Rivers had his father Doc Rivers on his podcast recently, where they talked about how Lakers fans may have had something to do with Doc being fined $50,000 last summer.
On his re-launch of the Go Off podcast, Austin brought his father on to catch up on a number of things regarding their lives and the NBA. At one point, the topic turned to the time Doc Rivers was fined last May for violating the league’s anti-tampering rule.
Doc’s comments came during the 2019 NBA Finals between Kawhi Leonard’s Toronto Raptors and the Golden State Warriors when he compared The Klaw to Michael Jordan:
"Kawhi is the most like Jordan we've seen."
Doc Rivers has some high praise for Kawhi Leonard. pic.twitter.com/i1R2gR1VrT
— NBA on ESPN (@ESPNNBA) May 29, 2019
“You only got fined — and this is my opinion — due to the public pressure of Lakers fans,” Austin said to Doc. “Because they wanted Kawhi Leonard so bad and I think their fan base annoyingly controls so much of the media to the point where that became a thing.”
There did seem to be a lot of Lakers fans up in arms after what seemed like innocuous comments from Doc when asked about Kawhi during the public broadcast, but it may have been a combination of that and complaints from the Toronto Raptors organization that forced the league’s hand.
The Raptors have reached out to the league multiple times this season when they've felt the Clippers have crossed a line in their not-so-subtle pursuit of Leonard, I'm told. Would imagine today's $50K anti-tampering fine had as much to do with those incidents as Doc's comments
— Josh Lewenberg (@JLew1050) May 31, 2019
Rivers didn’t stop there when it came to Lakers fans, continuing with some lighthearted ribbing.
“Lakers fans think every free agent is coming there,” said Austin. “They thought Klay Thompson was going there, they thought Paul George was going there. I say this actually as a compliment to their fan base with how passionate they are about their Lakers.”
The Lakers are no strangers to being fine for tampering themselves, as they received a steeper fine of $500,000 in August 2017 for their pursuits of Paul George.