Austin Rivers Excited to Play With Anthony Davis in New Orleans

by June 29, 2012

New Orleans Hornets fans had to be feeling pretty good about how their team did in the NBA Draft last night. Tenth pick Austin Rivers says he can’t wait to start hooping along the top overall draftee, Anthony Davis. From the Times-Picayune: “A year ago Rivers and Davis were the consensus Nos. 1 and 2 rated prep players in the country. They posed for the cover of SLAM Magazine together, teamed on the West squad at the 2011 McDonald’s All-American Game, and then parted to star at two of college basketball’s blueblood programs, Kentucky and Duke. Today they’ll board Tom Benson’s private jet for the first of countless flights together to New Orleans as Hornets teammates. They will be paired together for the rest of their careers, for better or worse, until free agency or trade do they part. ‘We’re friends,’ Rivers said. ‘… The fact that we get to go to a new place and embark on this journey together is pretty cool.’ Hornets Coach Monty Williams said Tuesday he wanted to add two qualities to his roster in this NBA draft: length around the basket; and a scorer to complement Eric Gordon in late-game situations. Davis was a no-brainer. Depending on who you talk to, he’s the next Bill Russell, Kevin Garnett or Tim Duncan. Rivers, though, required a little mojo. When Toronto surprisingly took Terrence Ross at No. 8 it opened the door for Rivers to New Orleans. […] ‘I think anybody can mesh with Anthony Davis,’ Rivers said. ‘We’re already great friends, so I think that on the court it is going to be even more natural.’ […] The crowd of a couple off thousand or so erupted when NBA Commissioner David Stern called his name at No. 10. Rivers clearly was the man Hornets fans wanted to pair with the preternatural Davis. ‘This is what we wanted,’ said an ebullient Dell Demps, the team’s general manager. […] ‘I feel really good,’ Demps said. ‘I think with Davis and his defensive presence, then Austin, with his offensive upside (and) playmaking abilities along with Eric (Gordon). I’m hoping we’re going to be really hard to guard and to score on.’ Then he quickly added a qualifier. ‘These guys are 19,’ Demps said. ‘They’re going to take their bumps and bruises.'”