Duke guard Austin Rivers was one of six prospects that worked out for the Portland Trail Blazers on Wednesday. Rivers is the son of Boston Celtics coach Doc Rivers. He said that he worked out on a sore left ankle but that it's nothing serious.
Here's a transcript of the highlights of his media session.
Your workout schedule
I have one more -- Cleveland tomorrow. I've done Toronto, Washington [and New Orleans].
How did you pick those teams?
I just feel like I best fit those teams. My agent obviously helped me with that... I feel like I can fit any team honestly. The teams that I worked out for are really good fits. I love Portland. I love it up here. I have a lot of friends already on the team. I just met Wesley [Matthews] today. I've already known Elliot [Williams] and obviously Nolan [Smith] and I are really cool. I just think they have a really nice backcourt here. I can handle the ball, create for other players, spot up and shoot. Stuff like that. I think Portland is a good fit.
What did you show at Duke?
I think I showed a lot. I showed that I could play under a microscope. Duke is on TV every game. Everybody nitpicks -- you can't do this, you can't do that. Other guys on other teams, you don't get to see them as much. That's OK. I wanted to be in the spotlight, I wanted to play on the biggest stage in college basketball. Most importantly, I wanted to play at Duke and be coached by Coach K. He's the toughest coach in college basketball. Me and him have a great relationship. He's gotten me a lot better. The main thing I showed is that I can do more things than just score. I started to get better and better towards the end of the year. That's what I'm going to keep doing and improving with everything.
Advantage being around the NBA as a kid?
I don't think so. I actually have never been in this position. I've seen it first hand, I guess. Other guys have it, I've seen how the workouts go and stuff like that. At the end of the day it's different when you're in the shoes. If anything, I've been teased my whole life. I get to see it first hand, get to see the NBA, the life and all that stuff, but I don't get to actually do it, I'm not that guy. Now that I'm here in this position, I've worked so hard my whole life, I just want to make the most of this, really work hard and make the biggest impact as a rookie this year. That's my goal.
Advice from Doc Rivers
He's always just told me to stay real. Just to be you. Don't be someone you're not. Especially in the interviews. Don't try to tell them you do things that you don't. And don't try to say you are someone you're not. If you're real, and they really like you and they choose you, that means it's a real fit. When you go play basketball out here, play your strengths. Work to get better. That's what I did. I tried to come out here, compete, have fun and win. In the interviews, just be as real as possible to get good chemistry with the coaches.
Are you tired of hearing people call you "cocky"?
People call me cocky but it's -- I don't know what it is. I just have a lot of confidence in myself. But in a good way. I've always tried to be a good spirit in the locker room. I've always been a good teammate. I have good relationships with all my friends. If you look at all the great players in the game, Kobe, Kevin Durant, LeBron, if you don't say they're not cocky... they are cocky. You have to be cocky and you have to have an ego to be good. It's a matter of having a healthy ego. You don't want to be arrogant or feel like you're entitled to stuff. That's something I'm not. I have a lot of confidence in myself and I try to share that with other players. I just try to be a leader. I think at the end of the day you have to have an attitude where you can do anything and that's what I have.
Where did "cocky" label come from?
I don't know. Maybe like I said, I played at Duke. That's under the main spotlight. Everybody watches the games, everybody sees every little thing. If you make a shot and you're talking or you're looking or make a face, people are like, 'Oh, he's cocky.' That's the way it is. It's fine. The only thing I care about is what my family and friends and these organizations and my teammates think of me. It's all been positive my whole life and that's what matters. My job is to come in and make the biggest impact and be a great leader and try to help them right away. I will be a great teammate and a good leader.
Are you ready to start Day One?
That's what you build up to. I don't come in here and think I'm entitled to anything. I'm not going to come in here and be like, 'Yeah, I'm starting.' You have to work for it. These are all pros up here. You have to come in here and practice and show him by example and show them your leadership. Of course, it's a goal of mine. You want to make the biggest impact as a rookie. That's my goal, all the awards and all that stuff will come. All I want to do is help this team win. I think there's a lot of great pieces here, All-Star here, a lot of athletic wings and guards here. I think I could really fit in well here.
Are you selecting these five workout locations based on places that would give you the best chance to play big minutes or start right away?
That's why I'm here. I feel like I can do that. I'm going to have to work for it. I'm going to have to outplay people to do that. I'm here in Portland for a reason. I like Portland. I think I could fit in here well. I have good chemistry with some of the guys who are already here. I feel like I could do a lot here. I like the city here. It's a lot different from Orlando, which I think is neat. i like the pieces here. You have shooters, you have Wesley, a great athletic guard, you have players like Nolan and LaMarcus Aldridge. You have tons of pieces here that are already really good players. I don't know who is staying or going, Jamal [Crawford], [Raymond] Felton, those are all great players. Coming in here, I could fit in, a guy who can handle the ball and get other people the ball as well. Create for himself, when the shot clock is down and you need a play to make, I'm a guy who can do that. That's something I can really fit in here.
You see yourself as a point guard here it sounds like
Both. Depends who is on the floor. That's a strength, to be able to play point guard and be a guy who can play off the ball as well. I think that's a strength to be able to do both. That's why I think I fit in here well... I really think I could help Portland in a lot of ways right off the bat.
-- Ben Golliver | email@example.com | Twitter