OLD MAN RIVERS

Doc’s gone from coach­ing his son to scout­ing his grand­kids on road trips, and he couldn’t be hap­pier.

Los Angeles Times - - SPORTS - BY AN­DREW GREIF

Amid over­lap­ping ca­reers dur­ing a com­bined 71 NBA sea­sons, Doc Rivers and his son, Austin, and Dell Curry and his sons, Seth and Stephen, had spent many tense mo­ments to­gether.

Last May they found them­selves to­gether again. This time it was in a hos­pi­tal as they awaited the birth of a baby — the daugh­ter of Seth Curry and Rivers’ daugh­ter, Cal­lie.

“‘I haven’t felt pres­sure like this in a long time,’ ” Doc Rivers re­called the doc­tor telling the room.

The baby soon ar­rived, and seven months later so did a road trip un­like any of the other thou­sand plus that Doc Rivers has taken since his rookie sea­son in 1983. When Rivers stepped off the Clip­pers’ char­ter flight in Port­land on Wed­nes­day af­ter­noon, he was their head coach.

Within hours his ti­tle had changed.

“To Carter,” Seth Curry said of his in­fant daugh­ter, “he’s just Papa Doc.”

“I’m sure he’s go­ing to spoil her a lit­tle more the older she gets with more stuff she can play with and have, but he’s been great,” Curry said. “He’s had a lot of en­ergy around her. You just see how much

he loves his grand­kids.”

The trip marked the first of three Clip­pers road games this sea­son in which Rivers will serve as both grand­fa­ther and coach. Austin Rivers, the for­mer Clip­pers guard traded to Wash­ing­ton, be­came a fa­ther to a son dur­ing the sum­mer, and the Clip­pers will travel to face the Wiz­ards on Nov. 20. Five days later, the Clip­pers play in Port­land again.

Rivers has en­joyed coach­ing th­ese Clip­pers (6-5) be­cause he sees part of his per­son­al­ity in a team that is learn­ing more about it­self with ev­ery pass­ing day. He has en­joyed be­ing a grand­par­ent for many of the same rea­sons.

“I can’t wait to get off the plane and go see my daugh­ter,” Rivers said, two days be­fore fly­ing to Port­land. “Usu­ally I would be think­ing, ‘Oh, what restau­rant am I go­ing to?’ It’s so much more im­por­tant now be­cause I get to see my grand­daugh­ter and that’s amaz­ing — it just gives you a whole new life.”

Fol­low­ing the Wiz­ards’ loss to the Clip­pers on Oct. 28, Austin Rivers said his fa­ther is “the same guy he was as a fa­ther” now as a grand­fa­ther. “Just try­ing to ask, ‘When is he go­ing to start play­ing bas­ket­ball?’ ”

Stephen Curry’s Golden State War­riors have been a con­stant thorn in the side of Doc Rivers’ Clip­pers, and Rivers has praised the twotime most valu­able player as be­ing well on his way to be­ing an all-time great. Fac­ing Seth — a ca­reer 43.4% three­p­oint shooter — brings its own matchup trou­bles, but both sides are look­ing for­ward to fu­ture Blaz­ers-Clip­pers meet­ings.

“Ev­ery­thing is in­ter­est­ing now with that,” Rivers said, smil­ing in his Sta­ples Cen­ter of­fice. “I jok­ingly said, ‘Man I should trade for Seth and Austin, I’d have the whole fam­ily to­gether.’ I said that as a joke and then we both said no, none of us want that.”

Rivers spent his Wed­nes­day evening in Port­land vis­it­ing with his daugh­ter, grand­daugh­ter and Seth Curry. The next night, he faced Curry on the court. Col­leagues and play­ers have called Rivers an in­ces­sant film-watcher and he pre­pared for the two-day stay by break­ing down video, as usual.

But then, in a road-trip first, he planned to take a break and scroll through his phone’s photo al­bum.

“It’s just nice,” he said, “to be able to sit on a plane and look at baby pic­tures.”

Lil­lard im­pressed

Rookie guard Shai Gil­geous-Alexan­der scored a ca­reer-high 19 points against Port­land and left first-team all-NBA guard Damian Lil­lard im­pressed.

The Trail Blaz­ers of­ten tested Gil­geous-Alexan­der, ei­ther run­ning him through off-the-ball screens while he guarded CJ McCol­lum or try­ing to get him alone on iso­la­tion plays while he guarded Lil­lard. Gil­geous Alexan­der wasn’t per­fect — he fin­ished with a team­worst plus/mi­nus rat­ing of

‘I jok­ingly said, “Man I should trade for Seth and Austin, I’d have the whole fam­ily to­gether.” I said that as a joke and then we both said no, none of us want that.’ — Doc Rivers

mi­nus-16 — but Lil­lard said he was struck by how the 20year-old han­dled him­self.

“I re­ally like his de­meanor and his men­tal­ity, just not back­ing down,” Lil­lard said. “He was steady, he was smart and you can tell they got a lot of faith in him, and he’s young. I think he has a re­ally bright fu­ture.”

TO­DAY

VS. MIL­WAU­KEE When: 12:30 p.m. On the air: TV: Prime Ticket; Ra­dio: 570, 1220. Up­date: For­ward Luc Mbah a Moute (sore knee) and guard Av­ery Bradley (left an­kle) have been up­graded to ques­tion­able to play a team that ranks fifth in of­fen­sive rat­ing and third in de­fen­sive rat­ing. Bucks for­ward Gian­nis An­te­tok­oun­mpo is av­er­ag­ing 25.6 points and 12.9 re­bounds.

Harry How Getty Images

DOC RIVERS is tran­si­tion­ing into his role as “Papa Doc”: He vis­ited new grand­daugh­ter, Carter, this week on a trip to Port­land.

Streeter Lecka Getty Images

SETH CURRY, left, and Austin Rivers were Duke team­mates in 2012, now they’re NBA play­ers and the fa­thers to Doc Rivers’ grand­chil­dren.

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