The Washington Wizards introduced their newest player in Austin Rivers on Monday. The team also revealed his jersey number for the upcoming season. The former Los Angeles Clipper will wear the number 1.
— Washington Wizards (@WashWizards) July 2, 2018
Rivers wore the number 25 while with the Clippers, however, the No. 25 is retired by the Wizards in honor of Gus Johnson. Rivers had to change his number and social media speculated that he would consider the number 0 — the number he wore in college while at Duke. However, while not retired by the franchise, that number was made famous by former all-star Gilbert Arenas.
But, Rivers was not going to pick the number Agent 0 made famous because he did not want any trouble with Arenas.
“I wasn’t going to wear 0 after Gilbert wore it. I don’t want no problems with No Chill Gil, man,” Rivers told reporters per Candace Buckner of the Washington Post.
Rivers also detailed Arenas reaction to social media’s speculation of him wearing No. 0.
“They put a little picture of me in IG with 0 – Gil was going off. ‘You’re wearing No. 0! That’s my number!’ I was like, ‘Oh my God! I’m not wearing that, bro,’” Rivers added per Buckner. “I might have to hit him up like, ‘Bro, I’m not wearing your number. Relax.'”
Instead, Rivers said he chose the No. 1 because he is looking for a fresh start, “Day 1” from everything that includes a new team, playing out of the shadows of his father, Clippers’ head coach Doc Rivers, and him being a soon-to-be father with his high school sweetheart that he’s known since the 10th grade.