PHILADELPHIA - Austin Rivers has not decided about foregoing his eligibility at Duke University and entering the NBA draft, his father, Celtics coach Doc Rivers, said Friday.
“I heard the report, but he hasn’t decided anything, yet,’’ Rivers said. “I mean, you know, he’s got to make a decision and he leans one way one day and the other. So that’s part of it.
“This year is the first year they have to decide by April 10.’’
Austin, a freshman guard at Duke, averaged a team-leading 15.5 points and was the ACC rookie of the year.
Rivers helped his son consider his college options and is advising him now.
“Listen, it’s awkward, I guess,’’ Rivers said. “But it’s a good position.
“If I had my druthers I’ll take that, so it’s good that he has choices. So we’ll see, we’ll know soon.’’
Austin announced he would be playing at the University of Florida before his father persuaded him to consider other options.
“I did,’’ Rivers said of helping with the college decision. “But no more than I’m helping with this.
“At the end of the day all you can do with your kids, or any kid in that situation, is give as much input as you can and you try to let them make the decision. They have to make it, you can’t make it for them.’’
As for the prospect of Austin joining the Celtics, his father said: “That would be interesting - that would be very interesting. I don’t think I’m legally allowed to say anything until he makes a decision - speaking about my son.’’
Hollins has familiarity
There were some odd and serendipitous circumstances leading to Ryan Hollins joining the Celtics. Hollins has been preparing for the move since last summer, when he played pickup games with Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce.
He chose to join the Celtics after considering feelers from Indiana and Miami because of “just the veteran leadership, the name behind the Boston jersey.
“I’ve got some experience with Paul and Kevin from the summertime,’’ he said. “I know what it means here, so I couldn’t pass up this opportunity. I’ve been playing with Paul since I’ve been in college, so going on 10 years now; Kevin off and on, but especially with this lockout, the veterans came out earlier, and so me and him kind of bonded this summer. So this opportunity is something I’ve been thinking about for a while.’’
The Celtics lost Jermaine O’Neal and Chris Wilcox this month and have been desperately searching for inside help. O’Neal (wrist ligament) could be facing career-ending surgery and Wilcox was declared out for the season after an exam revealed a heart condition.
Hollins, listed at 6 feet 11 inches, 225 pounds, played 3 minutes 19 seconds in the Celtics’ 99-86 defeat in Philadelphia Friday night. Hollins’s first activity as a Celtic came in an unexpected way as he was selected by the 76ers to shoot free throws awarded to Mickael Pietrus, who had been taken off the court on a stretcher late in the first half. Hollins missed the first and made the second, then missed two more a short time later.
Hollins, who joined the Celtics after being waived by the Cavaliers, acknowledged he had not capitalized on previous opportunities, but believes he has found the right situation.
“I mean, this isn’t a decision you jump into overnight,’’ he said. “You’ve got to take things into consideration and assess them. It’s a huge opportunity here so I’ve got to get on my ‘A’ game and be ready to play.
“I loved Cleveland and coach [Byron] Scott and that’s a first-class organization. Everything they did for me was amazing, but it just worked out better this way. The opportunity to go there and my memories I got there, you can’t replace those.
“I’ve had opportunities where I could be better. Every situation has its own fit; it was just time for me to move on from Cleveland. There’s no regrets, no looking back, there’s no pointing fingers or anything - time to move on and I think it was a good move for both sides.’’
Rivers has challenged Hollins to improve his rebounding.
“I’ve got to box out, I’ve got to go get the ball. Doc said that’s something I’ve got to be better at,’’ said Hollins, who did not grab a rebound in his brief debut.
“If that’s what we need - we kind of said everybody here has their specialty, we know our role, we know what we have to do, we have to sacrifice for the team. And that’s something I want to be apart of. If it’s rebounds, I’ve got to go after rebounds - eat, sleep, and dream rebounds. And that’s what I’m going to have to do.’’
Hollins, joining his fifth NBA team in five-plus seasons, is saying most of the right things.
“You get certain teams, certain chemistry, certain environments - and guys tend to flourish,’’ Hollins said. “Each team has its situation - hopefully this is my team, my situation. As a matter of fact, I’m going to make it my team and my situation.’’
Out of action
Ray Allen (ankle) missed the game after struggling with his shot earlier in the day. “He tried to shoot, he comes over early and he just couldn’t get shots up,’’ Rivers said. “That’s unusual. When Ray pulls himself out, there’s something bothering him.’’ . . . Avery Bradley departed with an ankle injury, but plans to be ready for the Wizards game Sunday. “I’m dealing with it right now and I’m hoping I’ll get better and I’ll be ready to play [Sunday],’’ Bradley said.Frank Dell’Apa can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.