Noted nepo baby Austin Rivers complains about highlight culture

Noted nepo baby Austin Rivers complains about highlight culture
Noted nepo baby Austin Rivers complains about highlight culture

Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports

Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports

Austin Rivers thinks young players these days are getting more hype than they deserve. He’s a strange person to be delivering that message.

As a general rule, NBA veterans love complaining about how things have changed since their day. About how today’s players have it easier, don’t take things as seriously, don’t value or appreciate the opportunities they have.

Some of that criticism is well-founded. Some, not so much. And some is just undercut by the person delivering the message.

For example, on a recent episode of The Ringer NBA show, Austin Rivers complained about the undue hype many young players are receiving today.

“When I played HS, you only got a mixtape if you were a top-tier guy. It was an honor to have a Ballislife mix…The landscape has changed now. Parents are paying people to come, everyone gets a mixtape & looks at the camera.”

Austin Rivers has benefited from inflated hype as much as any current NBA player

Remember Austin Rivers, son of former NBA player and current NBA head coach Doc Rivers, was the third-ranked player in his high school class and had more than a few mix tapes of his own. He went to Duke where he averaged 15.5 points, 3.4 rebounds and 2.1 assists per game on fairly pedestrian 43.3/36.5/65.8 shooting splits. His Duke team finished second in the ACC to hated rival UNC and bowed out in the first round of the NCAA Tournament to Lehigh, becoming the fifth No. 2 seed to lose to a No. 15.

Despite a relatively modest track record of college success, considering his high school hype, Rivers was taken with the No. 10 pick in the 2012 NBA Draft ahead of less heralded players like Evan Fournier, Jae Crowder, Draymond Green, Khris Middleton and Will Barton — all of whom have scored more career points than Rivers.

All that is to say, maybe Austin Rivers isn’t the one who should be complaining about young players receiving more hype than they’ve earned, setting up unrealistic expectations.

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