Because of so many injuries throughout the season, every player on the Los Angeles Lakers roster has had to play a big role at some point or another. To the surprise of many, that includes undrafted rookie Austin Reaves, who no one expected to make any kind of major impact this season.
Reaves was initially signed to a two-way contract, but it was converted over to a standard NBA deal before training camp began. The rookie impressed both teammates and coaches alike and with the Lakers short on guards, Reaves became an integral part of the rotation early on.
Unfortunately for Reaves, right as he was really catching his stride, a hamstring injury sidelined him for a few weeks. In an exclusive interview with Lakers Nation’s own Trevor Lane, Reaves admitted that it was hard to deal with and how much he wanted to just play through it:
“It was hard, but it’s sports, injuries happen and you gotta deal with them accordingly, and you gotta deal with them the right way. My way was probably not the right way. I wanted to say screw it and just jump back out there and start playing. So the staff did a good job of really getting me back at full strength to the point where I feel 100% normal again. But having the momentum going into that I mean, it sucks to say the least, but you know it is what it is. It’s sports and injuries happen.”
A hamstring injury is definitely nothing to mess around with and the Lakers were smart to keep Reaves sidelined until he was completely healthy. Those are the types of injuries that can linger and become even worse if not dealt with and Reaves understands it was the right move.
Of course, when an undrafted rookie is getting regular minutes next to Hall of Famers LeBron James, Anthony Davis, Russell Westbrook and Carmelo Anthony, it is difficult to want to have to sit down for any reason. But Reaves has the right mindset and respect of his Lakers teammates so when his number is called he will be ready.
Reaves opens up about draft process before ending up with Lakers
Also in his interview with us, Reaves opened up about the process of becoming a Laker, which included passing up on the opportunity to be drafted by other teams.
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