I miss the old Austin Rivers.
He seems to have blended into the league as your average guard. I followed Austin Rivers throughout high school and even got his autograph back in those days. I specifically remember him showing up to the gym in his custom gold Beats By Dre headphones and catching the eyes of everybody in there.
He was a McDonald’s All-American and played in various well-known basketball tournaments. He even led his high school team to a Florida 6A state championship. Following that Rivers continued to set a u18 FIBA Team USA record with 35 points against Canada.
Austin Rivers used to be a basketball machine. He was like a street baller out there. His handles reminded me of that of Jamal Crawford. He could take just about anybody’s ankles out from under them with his old crossover. I mean it, his handles were just plain filthy.
Coach K really put Austin’s skills to use at Duke while he was in college. He would have pulled up on anybody in the NCAA, and he did. This is why he left after one year.
Somewhere on his path in the league he became your average fundamental guard. I want John Wall to bring the beast back to life. I have not pinpointed exactly when the beast died. I don’t know whether the change in his game was due to Alvin Gentry, playing with his father, or just the change of pace that the NBA offered, but today’s Austin Rivers is not the one that I am familiar with.
Let me be clear, I think Rivers has a high basketball IQ, has a solid jumper, and passes well. What I’m saying is there is a side to Austin Rivers that most fans are not even aware of. This is the Austin Rivers that I want to see on the Wizards this year.
Wake up the beast.