Don’t heckle Austin Rivers about his family. He might just have you kicked out.
That’s just what Rivers did during Wednesday’s Nuggets-Thunder game in Oklahoma City, pointing out two courtside fans early in the fourth quarter who were then escorted out by security.
“They were just talking about my family the whole night,” Rivers told reporters after the 108-94 Thunder win. “I’ll take a whole lot, I do take a lot. I’ve been taking a lot of heat since I’ve been, what, eighth grade, just because of who my father [Doc Rivers] is, so people like to talk.
“You got little punks like that that sit courtside and get real bold because they, I don’t know, they feel special and think they’re cool, talking to somebody like me. I don’t know what they’re doing, I don’t know who they are. Bunch of nobodies just talking. I don’t even care to give them attention. But, clowns be clowns.”
Rivers has been the target of jokes centering on his dad since he came into the league, never more so than the four-year stretch in which he played for the Clippers under Doc Rivers.
With the Nuggets this year, the 29-year old Rivers has averaged 4.7 points in 20 games, mostly off the bench. He had 12 points against OKC.
Rivers, who played 21 games for the Knicks last season, said he usually doesn’t mind some remarks from fans, but it went over the line on Wednesday because the hecklers in question, in addition to making comments about Doc, mentioned his sister Callie, who’s married to Steph Curry’s brother Seth.
“I don’t want to be portrayed or try to make myself sound like I’m some tough guy,” Rivers said. “… None of those dudes would ever talk to me like that if I wasn’t on the basketball court. I don’t like people like that.”
LeBron James and Tristan Thompson have also gotten fans tossed from games for heckling this season, and last year’s playoffs were marred by a number of fan-player incidents that resulted in fan ejections.
“… You’re talking about my family, like, what are we doing here?” Rivers said. “Imagine me showing up to where they work, and I’m just talking [crap] about their family the whole time, like while they’re trying to work. … A bunch of punks. I’m glad the refs threw them out, otherwise that’s where you get into a situation where I go over there and then it’s different.”