Austin Rivers during an appearance on 'The Pat McAfee Show.' Screengrab: ‘The Pat McAfee Show’ oN ESPn

Last week, Austin Rivers’ claim on Pat McAfee’s show that 30 NBA players could be in the NFL ignited a social media firestorm.

Rivers immediately received pushback from McAfee. And once his stance was aggregated, it unsurprisingly drew the ire of multiple ex-NFL players, including Chris Long, Emmanuel Acho, and JJ Watt. It also saw some significant pushback from former Green Bay Packers wide receiver turned FS1 personality, James Jones. He absolutely blasted Rivers, sparking a heated beef that quickly escalated after Jones’ initial scathing criticism.

And Rivers has now found himself on The Pat McAfee Show again — and didn’t necessarily have any qualms about setting sports media ablaze.

“First off, I don’t take anything I said back,” Rivers said. “So, I don’t give a **** about what anybody has to say. I don’t really care. By the way, Patrick Mahomes said yesterday court side (Lu Dort) could definitely play in the NFL. I got Brandon Marshall, Saquon Barkley, all these guys calling my phone saying, ‘You know you’re right, right?’

“And listen, if the one guy from Green Bay — who I never heard of — wants to say his little piece or talk, then so be it, man. I don’t really give a damn. Is it 30 players? I don’t know. It could be 10; it could be 12. By the way, I’m only talking about two positions — tight end and wide receiver. And again, I didn’t say they’d be Terrell Owens out there. I just said we have guys that could absolutely go out there and play.”

While Rivers never explicitly claimed he could play in the NFL, he pointed out his physical attributes – 6-foot-5, 220 pounds with a reported 4.5-second 40-yard dash and a 40-inch vertical.

You have to give credit where credit is due. While the rest of sports media, partciulary ESPN, tries to milk the most it can out of the NFL-NBA debate, Rivers is just looking from the sidlines at the chaos he’s created. With his unapologetic stance and willingness to return to the fire, Rivers has proved that he’s willing to play the game, making him a sports media name worth keeping an eye on.

[The Pat McAfee Show on X]

About Sam Neumann

Since the beginning of 2023, Sam has been a staff writer for Awful Announcing and The Comeback. A 2021 graduate of Temple University, Sam is a Charlotte native, who currently calls Greenville, South Carolina his home. He also has a love/hate relationship with the New York Mets and Jets.