Austin Reaves has been a consistent presence in the NBA discourse since his 35-point, six-rebound and six-assist performance in the Los Angeles Lakers’ win over the Orlando Magic on Sunday. From his contract situation to praise from players, Reaves has certainly made a name for himself.
One of the players who has sung Reaves’ praises the most is LeBron James. The Lakers superstar has made it known that he loves the way Reaves plays the game, and he has developed a similar rapport that he had with Alex Caruso in his first seasons with the team.
James took to Twitter immediately following the epic performance from Reaves while on the sidelines of Crypto.com Arena.
AR YOU A BAD MUTHA…SHUT YO MOUTH!!! You toooooo TOUGH!! 🔥🔥🔥👑
— LeBron James (@KingJames) March 20, 2023
When he was asked about the tweet, Reaves couldn’t help but show his excitement over his relationship with James.
“It’s not just a player you’re talking about. It’s arguably one of the greatest players ever. And thanks to SportsCenter for airing me out for a tweet or a post that I made in 2012 about LeBron. I appreciate that (laughs).
“I don’t know what to say, but for him to accept me the way that he accepted me from Day 1. Obviously, I felt like there was a really good chemistry IQ-wise from Day 1, but not just him. Everybody else.
“I mean, I think it was Dennis [Schroder] and Beas throwing water on me on the court,” Reaves said. “You know, stuff like that means a lot to me. And looking back in 20 years when, hopefully, I’m retired playing golf every day, I can tell my kids and my grandkids that arguably the greatest player ever, it’s social media, so it will be around forever, so they’ll believe me, actually.”
It’s sometimes easy to forget that Reaves is just 24 years old and in his second NBA season with the poise he has on the court. But he, like many of the younger players in today’s game, grew up watching James.
Reaves was only five years old when James was drafted, nine when James made his first NBA Finals and 14 when he won his first championship with the Miami Heat. Reaves’ basketball fandom could easily be traced through the stages of James’ career.
Reaves studied Harden and Young to draw fouls
Part of Reaves’ 35-point performance was the 18 free throw attempts he got. Reaves has become near-elite at drawing fouls around the rim, and it is by design.
Reaves said he studied the games of James Harden and Trae Young to learn how to successfully draw contact and get to the free throw line.
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