Clippers’ Austin Rivers on trade rumors: ‘It’s always a business first’

Clippers' Austin Rivers, right, tracks New York Knicks' Carmelo Anthony during the first half Wednesday.
(Frank Franklin II / Associated Press)

The media mob grew larger before the Clippers played the Knicks on Wednesday night at Madison Square Garden, and the conversation stayed the same.

The New York media wanted to know how Clippers guard Austin Rivers and Coach Doc Rivers felt about the trade rumors involving Knicks forward Carmelo Anthony and Los Angeles.

Multiple reports stated that the Knicks called the Clippers two weeks ago to gauge their interest in acquiring Anthony for Austin Rivers and Jamal Crawford.


Of course, the Clippers were interested, but they told the Knicks that the big three of Chris Paul, DeAndre Jordan and Blake Griffin wouldn’t be a part of a deal, and also that J.J. Redick wasn’t on the table.

Doc Rivers had said Monday night there was “nothing going on” recently involving a deal between the Clippers and Knicks.

But that didn’t stop the media from asking about Anthony, who had 28 points in New York’s loss to the Clippers.

“Obviously, when it happened, it was new for me. But then after that, it’s ‘Whatever,’” Austin Rivers said in his first interview about the trade talks. “I just focus on playing basketball and helping my team. That’s it.”

Rivers said he understands that players get traded all the time.

“It’s always a business first and it’s always about winning first no matter who’s on the team — whatever can help the team win. … I know it’s part of the business,” he said. “It didn’t disturb me at all. You can only control what you can control anyway. I can only control what I can control. When I heard it, I heard it. I was focused on just getting better. That’s it.”

Doc Rivers said he was amused by all the trade stories.

But when he was asked if trading for Anthony was still an option for the Clippers, he grew angry.


“I didn’t know it was an option,” the coach said. “I don’t know. Call them. We don’t have Carmelo. I swear to God we don’t. He plays for the Knicks. So that’s your story and that’s the way we leave it. You can ask us about our guys. Carmelo is not on our team.”

Twitter: @BA_Turner