Lakers News: Austin Reaves Would Have ‘Done Anything’ To Meet Kobe Bryant
Austin Reaves, Lakers
(Photos by Michael Gonzales/NBAE via Getty Images)

Second-year guard Austin Reaves figures to be a big part of the Los Angeles Lakers this season after an unexpected but overall impressive rookie year. Injuries played a big role in Reaves being part of the rotation, but he took complete advantage of the opportunity and now looks to be a big part of the team’s present and future.

Growing up in a small town in Arkansas, Reaves was actually a big Lakers fan as a child, idolizing the late Kobe Bryant. So realizing the dream of not only making the NBA, but donning the purple and gold is undoubtedly a feeling unlike any other for Reaves.

He recently spoke about this in an interview with Shams Charania of The Athletic. Reaves spoke on loving Kobe and the Mamba Mentality, while also adding how special it is to play for a franchise like the Lakers:

“It’s crazy. That was one guy I would do anything to meet. Just the mentality that he had was something that I really loved. It was do whatever you could do to win. That’s what he wanted to do first and foremost, he just wanted to win basketball games. Just to play for the Lakers, I remember I told Aaron my agent going into the Lakers workout, it had a different feeling. I’m in the gym that all these guys have been in, worked out. You look up and you see all the championships, you see all the retired numbers. It’s definitely a different feeling so it’s really special.”

There is simply nothing like putting on that purple and gold. As Reaves said, just stepping foot in the practice facility and seeing all of the jerseys and championships just brings about a different feeling that can not be matched.

Reaves has certainly embraced that Mamba Mentality this offseason, reportedly bulking up to 209 pounds in order to better deal with the bigger wings he will have to defend while also working tirelessly to improve his outside shooting.

Expectations for the Lakers are down this season, but if they are to exceed them, a leap from Reaves would go a long way and he is putting in the work to do just that.

Reaves admits ‘goal’ is to be in Lakers starting lineup

One question regarding Reaves is whether or not he will be starting for the Lakers this season. It is unclear which combination of Reaves, Russell Westbrook and Patrick Beverley will begin games for new coach Darvin Ham, but it is something that Reaves is pushing for.

Reaves admitted that it’s a goal of his to be in the starting lineup, but also made it clear he will accept and be happy with whatever role he receives and simply wants to win.

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