Austin Rivers jokingly called out the Philadelphia 76ers and team president Daryl Morey during an appearance on ESPN’s “First Take” Thursday.
The free-agent shooting guard’s gripe with the organization stems from Philadelphia’s decision to fire his father, Doc Rivers, from his post as head coach following the 2023 playoffs.
After briefly praising Sixers center Joel Embiid and discussing his chances of winning a second straight MVP Award, the younger Rivers’ commentary then took a turn.
“I see (Philadelphia) as a third option (in the Eastern Conference), a couple behind Milwaukee and the Celtics,” he said. “I’m not gonna say anything positive about Philly, man. They did my pops dirty, bro. I got nothing to say about them.”
After some egging on from his fellow analysts, Rivers continued.
“It is personal. Family over everything, bro. Family first, man. Come on Daryl (Morey). I’m talking to you,” he said while pointing at the camera.
Aside from his father’s three seasons at the helm with the 76ers, the Duke product has a direct connection with Morey from the duo’s time with the Houston Rockets.
Morey served as the general manager of the Rockets for 13 seasons from 2007-2020 before he resigned and joined Philadelphia. The 31-year-old Rivers played parts of two seasons with Houston from 2018-2020.
The 76ers fired Doc Rivers in May, two days after the team was eliminated in the Eastern Conference semifinals by the Boston Celtics. Embiid and company held a 3-2 series lead before Boston won Game 6 on the road and routed Philadelphia in Game 7 behind a 51-point performance by forward Jayson Tatum.
Each of Doc Rivers’ three campaigns with the Sixers ended in second-round playoff exits.
The 62-year-old now works alongside Doris Burke and Mike Breen as a broadcaster for ESPN.
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