He means that as a compliment.
The Celtics coach referenced James and Wade, as well as his own players Ray Allen and Paul Pierce, when he was asked about his son Austin Rivers, who is expected to be a first-round pick in this month's NBA Draft. The competitiveness that drives those All-Stars also drives his son, according to Rivers.
"In a crazy way, I've actually heard people knock that, which blows my mind," Rivers said. "Why would you ever knock a guy that's competitive? I even heard he's cocky. I've yet to meet the uncocky Dwyane Wade or the uncocky LeBron or the uncocky Ray or the uncocky Paul. Those are the things that blow my mind when I hear negatives about him. Other than that, he's a competitive guy. He wants to win. He wants to be the best. That's what you want."
Austin Rivers is a 6-foot-4, 200-pound guard who recently completed his freshman year at Duke University. He averaged 15.5 points per game for the Blue Devils and is projected to be picked No. 13 overall by the Phoenix Suns in the latest mock draft by DraftExpress.com.
Scouts are said to like the 19-year-old's wingspan and athleticism, but there apparently are questions about his maturity and whether he has a true position in the NBA. But Rivers, who played 13 years as a player in the NBA, sees a lot of himself in his son.
"I don't think it's much different," Rivers said. "He's a driven, determined player. I think to coach him, you would love to have him. Every coach that had him has loved that. He's just — he wants to win. He gets frustrated at times, just like I did as a player, when things aren't going right team-wise. But he's as competitive a player as you'll ever get."
The Celtics pick 21st and 22nd in the first round of the draft.