Ex-Knicks guard felt Tom Thibodeau was waiting for him to fail

New York Knicks, Austin Rivers
NBAE via Getty Images

Free agent guard Austin Rivers spoke about his brief tenure with the New York Knicks on Bill Simmons’ podcast this week and offered some sobering words about how he felt playing under head coach Tom Thibodeau.

Austin Rivers opens up on his Knicks tenure

“It messed with me for a little bit, because I was having some really good success there early on and it just felt like the whole time I was there they were kind of waiting for me to either not play well or something to happen so they could bring in Derrick [Rose],” Rivers said.

Rivers also highlighted the tightly-knit relationship between Thibodeau and fellow teammate Derrick Rose. Rivers and Rose have been together for three different teams during their careers. Rivers indicated that it felt to him that Thibodeau never wanted him but Knicks president Leon Rose insisted on bringing him in.

Evidently, Rivers was disappointed in how his time in the Big Apple went and felt a level of disrespect from the top brass of the organization.

Reflecting on Rivers’ forgotten tenure with New York

Rivers’ Knicks tenure is perhaps forgotten among most fans, as his departure in the 2021 season was followed by a successful second half for the Knicks that saw the team reach the postseason for the first time since 2013 after going 24-11 with Rose to close the season.

Rivers played in 21 games for New York, averaging just 7.3 points per game before being traded in a three-team trade with the Oklahoma City Thunder and Philadelphia 76ers on March 25 of that season.

The 31-year-old guard is currently a free agent after playing for the Minnesota Timberwolves last season. Rivers, an 11-year veteran in the NBA, has been nothing short of a journeyman for the majority of his career, playing on five different teams in the past five seasons.

As Rivers currently searches for a new contract, it is safe to assume that any potential reunion with the Knicks in the future is off the table.

Follow this writer on X/Twitter: @DylanBacker_

Mentioned in this article:

More about: