Austin Rivers explains verbal exchange with courtside heckler

CLEVELAND, OH - NOVEMBER 17: Austin Rivers
CLEVELAND, OH - NOVEMBER 17: Austin Rivers /

During the final minutes of the LA Clippers‘ loss to the Utah Jazz, Austin Rivers got sick of hearing a certain courtside Clippers fan. Here’s what Rivers claims went down.

What happened? 

Austin Rivers is seen walking towards a courtside fan with just over three minutes left in the fourth quarter and can be seen mouthing the words “shut the f*** up” at one point. His words cost him a $25,000 fine  from the league.

According to ClutchPoints reporter Tomar Azarly, Rivers claimed that this fan was cheering on the team for the first half of the game, but had a change of heart in the second as the team was losing. Rivers described the fan and his disloyal behavior with this statement.

"“He was being a fairweather a** fan… He was talking sh** about the team, but he was cheering during the first half.” -Austin Rivers"

While Rivers is used to fans heckling him over the fact that his dad is the coach, this fan apparently wasn’t angry about that.

"“He was talking sh** about the team, not even me. He was talking about Steve Ballmer and Doc and DJ and saying demeaning stuff to my other teammates. ‘Austin and DJ, y’all need help.’ I don’t like that.” -Austin Rivers"

Yikes. We hate to hear about our fans acting fake during games, and this is especially weird behavior for a fan who paid to sit courtside. Perhaps he was just frustrated about the loss? Maybe he just got way too into the game, so should we give him the benefit of the doubt?

Austin Rivers did. According to Rivers, he went over to the fan after the game and shook his hand and said “my bad” because “at the end of the day I’m a professional. He’s not.”

We are glad to see that some reconciliation between Rivers and the fan took place shortly after the conflict. However, this is not the behavior of a true Clippers fan. Rivers claimed that a true Clippers fan “rides or dies with (the team), a lot of those fans show up to Clippers games.” We hope that more “riding” than “dying” is done this season by fans as the team struggles with injuries, anxiously awaiting Danilo Gallinari and Milos Teodosic’s returns.