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One big NBA family: How the Curry and Rivers clans are deeply related

Two of the NBA’s most well-known families are getting closer than ever

Stephen Curry and Austin Rivers have known each other’s games well for years, but they’ve gotten to know each other on a more personal level. Reason being, their siblings are engaged to be married next year.

Two of the NBA’s most well-known and successful families are now actually one big family.

Before the Golden State Warriors’ game against the visiting Houston Rockets on Jan. 3, the guards shared a laugh as they talked about the recent union of their families.

“I always got to guard the dude, but I didn’t know him,” Austin Rivers said of Stephen Curry to The Undefeated. “But we saw each other and we were like, ‘What’s up? We are going to be seeing each other a lot. Well, welcome to the family.’

“We sat there talking for two minutes about family and then moved on to basketball. It was kind of cool. Seth has found a good girl. My family got a good guy. There is so much familiarity. It is a very easy fit.”

Seth is Portland Trail Blazers guard Seth Curry, who is marrying Callie Rivers. Their dads, of course, are former NBA stars Dell Curry and Doc Rivers, who played against each other in the late 1980s and early 1990s.

L.A. Clippers coach Doc Rivers (left) greets Dell Curry before a game between the Clippers and the Charlotte Hornets on Jan. 8 at Staples Center in Los Angeles.

Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE via Getty Images

“The Currys are a great family,” Doc Rivers said. “I’ve known Dell and Sonya for 100 years. It’s very natural. Two good families, so it’s pretty cool. Dell and I don’t really talk about it. We played in a golf tournament together. We’ve always kind of been tight. It’s been a really natural union.”

Stephen Curry echoed the sentiment about the connection.

“Our family is huge, and I know it is for them as well,” he said. “There are a lot of shared experiences in terms of Doc and my dad being in the game for so long and still a part of the game in certain capacities.”

Duke guard Seth Curry (left) and guard Austin Rivers (right) wait for the start of play after a timeout in the first half of an NCAA college basketball game in Lahaina, Hawaii, on Nov. 23, 2011.

AP Photo/Eugene Tanner

Austin Rivers and Seth Curry, meanwhile, were teammates at Duke during the 2011-12 season. Both families got more familiar with one another at those games. Austin said his mother, Kristen Rivers, and Seth’s mother, Sonya, started building a friendship at that time.

Austin Rivers said he was initially skeptical when he heard his sister was dating an NBA player. But when he found out it was his former college teammate, his feelings changed.

“When you hear your sister is dating an NBA player, you’re like, ‘Oh s—,’ ” Austin Rivers said. “NBA players travel a lot. There is a reputation. You don’t want your sister to get hurt. But when I heard it was Seth, I was relieved because he is one of the guys that act the right way.”

Before proposing to Callie, Seth Curry asked Doc Rivers if he could have his daughter’s hand in marriage. The Los Angeles Clippers coach enthusiastically said yes.

Seth Curry of the Portland Trail Blazers (left) speaks with coach Doc Rivers of the Los Angeles Clippers before their game on Dec. 17, 2018 at Staples Center in Los Angeles.

“I couldn’t be happier,” said Doc Rivers, who also said he has no problem paying for the wedding. “He’s such a gentleman. As a father, that is all you want. He just called me and asked like normal people. I always tell people, ‘We’re all normal people at the end of the day.’ I told him, ‘Great, and absolutely.’ But I think he knew I’d say that. …

“As my mom and dad would say, ‘They’ve just been raised right.’ They [the Currys] are just terrific kids, and that is a credit to Sonya and Dell.”

Seth, who said he was “a little nervous” about his conversation with Doc, asked Callie to marry him while at a friends and family dinner in his hometown of Charlotte, North Carolina, on Feb. 14 during NBA All-Star Weekend. She said yes.

When did his big brother know he was going to pop the question?

“About an hour before,” Stephen Curry said. “I was there when he did it. Seth will let you know if he needs your input for something. But for the most part, he is very confident in his own thinking and game plan. It is cool that he did it in Charlotte. It was nice to have everyone to be around.”

The family is getting bigger too. Seth and Callie are the parents of a daughter, Carter, who was born last year. Stephen Curry and his wife, Ayesha, have three children (two daughters, Riley and Ryan, and infant son Canon) and Austin Rivers and his fiancée, Brittany Hotard, have an infant son named Kaden. (Warriors two-way guard Damion Lee also married Dell and Sonya Curry’s daughter, Sydel, last year.)

When reflecting on that, Austin Rivers said he recently told his fiancée that all of those kids will have a lot of pressure on them to be great basketball players because of their family pedigree.

“I told my fiancée our son is going to have a lot of pressure on them if they play basketball. All these kids will,” Austin Rivers said. “Both of your grandfathers played in the NBA. Your father plays in the NBA. And you have three uncles that play in the NBA. But when you think about it, actually Steph’s kids are going to have it the toughest because their dad is the greatest shooter of all time.”

Said Seth Curry: “I hope my daughter has Callie’s length and height but my shooting touch.”

Stephen Curry and the Warriors will compete against Doc Rivers and the Clippers in the first round of the playoffs. Austin Rivers and the Houston Rockets will face off against the Utah Jazz. And Seth Curry will be making his first career playoff appearance as the Blazers play the Oklahoma City Thunder.

Two Currys and two Riverses are fighting for the NBA championship.

“Me, Seth, Austin, the whole crew, it’s pretty cool to keep tabs on everybody,” Stephen Curry said.

Said Doc Rivers: “I’m exhausted from watching all these games. I watch Austin. I watch us. I watch Seth, Steph. Jesus.”

Marc J. Spears is the senior NBA writer for Andscape. He used to be able to dunk on you, but he hasn’t been able to in years and his knees still hurt.