NEW ORLEANS — New Orleans Hornets rookie guard Austin Rivers said he was watching the news Monday when he suddenly felt a rush of fear.
News broke that there were bombings on the route of the Boston Marathon, and it later surfaced that three people were killed and more than 150 injured.
Rivers immediately reached for his phone and texted his father, Boston Celtics coach Glenn “Doc” Rivers.
“It scared me, because my dad’s apartment is just three blocks from where it happened, like right around the corner,” Rivers said. “He texted me back saying, ‘I’m OK.’
“It just really hit home. My mom runs in marathons. She didn’t run in that one, though.”
Only after hearing from his family could Rivers begin to breath easier. Needless to say, he spent the rest of the day and night monitoring the situation.
“I know so many people up there,” he said. “You’re talking about people’s lives. It’s just terrible.”
Because of the tragic events in Boston, the Celtics’ game Tuesday night against the Indiana Pacers at TD Bank Garden was canceled as a precaution and in deference to the victims and their families.
“(The incident) really put things in perspective,” Rivers said. “We think what we do as basketball players is big, but it’s really small. What we do is not big at all.”
Hornets coach Monty Williams said, like other similar tragedies, it made him think how vulnerable we all are.
“When people start to attack us in sporting venues, it not only makes you think about those people, but it also makes you think about where we are,” he said. “That kind of thing can happen anywhere.”
And not only is Doc Rivers a good friend of Williams, but Hornets Chief Financial Officer Ed Lang ran in the race, Williams said.
“It hit home for us yesterday,” he said. “That could have been anybody. It’s unfortunate, but that’s where we are as a country. We live in a country where we just relax, and then we get surprised again. But this goes on around the world all the time. It’s sad because a lot of families were affected. We live in a different time now.”
That an 8-year-old boy was one of those killed by a blast was still on Williams’ mind. He and wife Ingrid have five children.
“Me and my girls and my son prayed for the families, because I want my kids to understand that this is a different day and age,” he said. “When we grew up, we’d walk down the street, get something to eat and come back home, and not think anything about it.
“Now you can’t let your kids go outside and play football by themselves, because you don’t know what’s going to happen.”