Lakers News: Austin Reaves Appreciated Getting To Witness Kobe Bryant Statue Unveiling
Austin Reaves, Lakers
Jason Parkhurst-USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Lakers have finally unveiled the long-anticipated Kobe Bryant statue outside of Crypto.com Arena. Many stars and former teammates of Kobe’s were in attendance and spoke at the ceremony. A couple of current Lakers were also in attendance in Austin Reaves and Rui Hachimura as well as head coach Darvin Ham.

Reaves has spoken previously about being a huge Bryant fan growing up in Arkansas with his friends even nicknaming him ‘Hillbilly Kobe.’ Now he has the opportunity to represent the same Lakers franchise that his favorite player saw immense success with.

And for Reaves, being able to be there in person for the ceremony was an experience unlike anything else.

“He was an idol to me,” Reaves said after the unveiling. “I grew up a Laker fan, obviously, big Kobe [Bryant] fan, and showing up, showing my appreciation for what he meant to not just me, but the game of basketball. I got some friends from back home that were able to attend as well, which is overall sharing that experience with everybody was super cool.

“I was like a kid in a candy shop in there. I couldn’t stop smiling. Seeing the people that spoke on behalf of him, all the great things, obviously. It was an amazing experience for me.”

It was truly a beautiful ceremony overall with the likes of Phil Jackson, Derek Fisher, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Vanessa Bryant speaking and bringing up excellent memories. Kobe and the Lakers will always be connected and this statue is the first of three, so Bryant will be everywhere around that area representing the different facets of his life and career.

For someone like Reaves to be able to witness up close just how much of an impact Kobe had on the lives of so many had to have been a surreal experience. The legend of Kobe Bryant will never be gone and even though Reaves wasn’t able to meet him as a member of the Lakers, he got to take in an experience he will never forget on this day.

Austin Reaves believes Lakers are playing ‘the right way’ during recent stretch

Much like Kobe Bryant, Austin Reaves is all about winning and doing whatever it takes to come out victorious. Going into the All-Star break the Lakers were doing just that, having won six of their last seven games and Reaves credited this stretch to the Lakers playing the right way.

Following their last win over the Utah Jazz, Reaves noted how the Lakers are making the extra pass and not caring who is hot that night and gets the credit. He also mentioned the end of the Lakers’ recent road trip with big wins over New York and Boston really giving the team extra confidence and energy.

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