There has been a lot of talented, hyped and confident high school player’s trough history. Some lived up to it, some didn’t. But one of the most confident was definitely Austin Rivers, who is still trying to prove himself in the NBA.
Kevin Garnett and Tony Allen were guests on the Chris Vernon show, as KG recalled the time Austin Rivers was with them in a practice back in his junior year in high school and challenged everybody to a 1 on 1 game including Garnett himself.
Rivers was the star man in Winter Park High School, as he was one of the flashiest and most talked about high school players at the time. He was visiting his father Doc Rivers who was coaching the Celtics at the time and took the opportunity to test his skills against NBA players.
First, he played Paul Pierce and beat him. Then Kendrick Perkins wanted some, as he was the so-called lockdown defender. But he also lost, as he got „moped“. Rivers was oozing with confidence, as his next target was Kevin Garnett. He rolled the ball to him, as KG stood in disbelief to the nerve of Rivers.
I said ‘I know your dad’s the coach so I gotta be real careful. My shoes was untied and he shot the first one and missed it…matter of fact he dunked it…I said ‘hold on’ and I tied my shoes and heard PJ and TA say ‘yeah tie them shoes killa!’
At that point, Austin was in the trouble. Garnet laced them up and did what he had to do. He scored 5 straight and beat him 5-1.
“…I mopped him 5-1,…He had so much swag that I was like ‘man do I spit fire on him?… But I tapped him, ‘keep working on your game’, but he was hot.”
Although Garnett beat him, he had respect for the confidence and fire in Rivers. But Austin wasn’t happy as he couldn’t accept defeat no matter from who it was coming from.
He threw the ball…His dad threw him out. ‘Get out. Go work on your game, that’s why got mopped up’…That’s when I knew right there Austin Rivers gonna be in our league in about two years.
He would be right, as Austin Rivers, he would get drafted 10thin the 2012 Draft. Although he never lived up to the superstar hype, he is still a very good role player who still has time to improve and make a bigger impact in this league.