L.A. Clippers player with broken hand? Now it’s Austin Rivers


Your first thought: Who’d he punch?

Because it’s another broken hand, because it’s the Clippers and because the estimated recovery time is identical (four to six weeks) that was projected in Blake Griffin‘s case, it stands to reason that Austin Rivers similarly might have fractured his left hand by punching a team employee.

Turns out, Rivers actually suffered his broken hand on the basketball court, taking a blow in traffic against Minnesota Wednesday in what he and the Clippers initially thought was just a bone bruise. The injury proved more serious than that, however, and now Rivers, son of coach Doc Rivers, joins Griffin as an L.A. player with a clipped wing.

Rivers’ broken hand at least came in the line of duty. Griffin has been called out by Clippers owner Steve Ballmer and by Doc Rivers over the unacceptable, extracurricular nature of his injury, the result of punching an assistant equipment manager. Now it’s the coach himself feeling some heat in both his roles.

Things haven’t gone as smoothly as L.A.’s roster and potential would have suggested. The Clippers rack up technical fouls at an alarming rate. And now both an All-Star starter and a helpful role player are out. Griffin was averaging 23.2 points and 8.7 rebounds before he went out, while Rivers is chipping in 8.1 points in 21.6 minutes.

Doc Rivers spoke recently with the Boston Globe’s Gary Washburn about the expectations and pressure that’s only getting dialed up these days:

With [Ballmer] paying a record $2 billion for the team prior to last season, there is immense pressure to win. Rivers is still as smooth and savvy as before, but he fully realized the job would be challenging.

Griffin is facing sanctions from the league as well as the Clippers.

“Really, it’s nothing you want to go through,” Rivers said of the Griffin situation. “You learn that they’re still young. They’re still learning. It’s not anything you want to go through as a team but you keep remembering that they’re young guys that are in the spotlight and it doesn’t take but a minute or two minutes and something happens.”

It was supposed to be a smooth transition for Rivers, but he has found himself playing counselor, mentor, and life coach with his new Big Three (Griffin, Chris Paul and DeAndre Jordan).

“You’re probably being all of them at this point,” he said. “You’re being a coach first because your job is still to get the team to function and then you become a life coach. But I don’t have all the answers. I make as many mistakes as these guys. I’m human, too. But I tell them about the mistakes I made, the mistakes I still make. I tell them you’ve got to stay in life and hang in there and good things will happen.”

7 Comments

  1. I think they will need Flake Griffin to win a championship; which that will not happen this season. Austin Rivers, good or bad, has zero impact on whether this team wins the championship, makes the playoffs, or even wins a game for that matter.

  2. Section 112 says:

    I am unaware of what Aschburner’s writing credentials are, but that opening paragraph is the most inane piece of trash I’ve read in quite some time. Ok, the first line was a tongue in cheek joke, but then to write “it stands to reason”, seriously? I guess before Blake no one in the NBA has ever broken a hand. Things haven’t gone that smoothly? Ok, but how about they have the 6th best record in the league as of this moment? Of the teams ahead of them, only the Raptors (a full 1/2 game ahead) weren’t picked to be ahead of them. So given the early season rotation issues (now settled) given Blake’s missing of 20 games, I’d say things are looking very positive.

  3. Paris says:

    Not a loss. He’s more a liability.

    • France says:

      He’s not a liability. What the hell? Do you even watch how the second unit found their identity? It’s because of austin rivers and prigioni. Hopefully now, lance stephenson can step up and take that spot.

  4. Kome the Black Dumba says:

    jinx on forcing Sterling to sell.

    It was a private conversation people. If I talked to my family how bad my boss was today should I get fired?

    Didn’t wish any injuries on any player but glad Clips are in a rut now.

    Never liked Cliff Paul, Kia Griffin, Mavs Jordan, and family Rivers.

    Karma karma!

    • Section 112 says:

      Rut Kome? they’ve now won 18 of 22, some rut.

      • Kome the Black Dumba says:

        Yea, let’s see how that transfer to the playoffs.

        I remembered Clips were leading 3-1? Up 16 in third quarter? My memory isn’t that good these days and didn’t know what happened, can you tell me what’s next?