Many took notice of Austin Rivers’ powerful words on Instagram regarding resuming play while also being socially active, including his father.
The NBA, for now, is on course for a return at the end of July, but the logistics of its return have been far from smooth. With the important racial injustice stand that the country is taking paired with COVID-19 still being very much in play, factions are starting to spring up within the basketball community. Recently, Houston Rockets guard Austin Rivers added his voice into the mix.
In a lengthy Instagram post, Rivers eloquently and respectfully disagreed with Kyrie Irving’s position that the NBA should refuse to restart in an effort to take a stand for racial equality. “Us coming back would be putting money in our pockets,” said Rivers. “With this money, you could help out even more people and continue to give your time and energy towards the Black Lives Matter movement.”
“I love Kyrie’s passion towards helping this movement,” he continued. “It’s admirable and inspiring. I’m with it…but in the right way and not at the cost of the whole NBA and players’ careers. We can do both.”
The post blew up on social media, with arguments from both sides taking place. The post is no longer available on Austin’s Instagram but did seem to capture what many around the NBA were thinking.
On an episode of Flying Coach with Steve Kerr and Pete Carroll, Doc Rivers made an appearance and shared how he found out about the post. “I’m embarrassed to say, I was out golfing and I keep getting these texts saying ‘I love what your son said,’ ” said Rivers. “As a parent, the first thing you think is oh gosh, what did he say?”
Doc also talked about how the post by his son made him feel, but not before getting a funny shot in: “I was very proud of Austin. I told him that. I said ‘finally I have some pride about you, son.’ ”
In the end, Doc agreed with his son’s sentiments about the NBA being able to return while also taking a stand. “You can have different opinions and that can be okay. That’s why we should dialogue. At the end of the day, you can march and you can work.”