Los Angeles Lakers two-way player Austin Reaves is extremely excited to be a member of the purple and gold as he grew up a fan even though he was from Arkansas. Some might wonder if this has to do with legendary Lakers role player Derek Fisher who is also from the state, but like many others around the world, Reaves was a massive fan of Kobe Bryant.
Certain players can generate a massive fanbase from all over, and Kobe did that and then some, transcending basketball and becoming one of the most recognizable people in the world. As is the case with many, Reaves was watching games from a young age, and it was his family who persuaded him.
In an interview with Lakers reporter Mike Trudell, Reaves revealed that he was a massive Kobe Bryant fan because his grandmother was a huge fan of his as well:
Yeah I was really just a Kobe fan. My grandma was a diehard Kobe fan. It started with her. She just liked his mentality, the way that he approached the game. Being around her when I was younger, we were always watching games and stuff like that. But D-Fish was good too, you can’t knock him for anything he did. He won a lot of games and a lot of rings.
Reaves is right in that Fisher has won a lot of games and a lot of championships. When it comes to role players in the league’s history, very few have impacted winning that Fisher and his five rings are proof of that, not to mention his many memorable moments and big shots. But there was just something different about Kobe Bryant that could make anyone a fan.
Whether it was a teenager in Los Angeles or a grandmother in Arkansas, Kobe’s mentality was something everyone could relate to and adopt in their own lifestyle. This is why the Mamba Mentality continues to be cited and used even after his passing.
As a two-way player in his first year in the NBA, expectations for Reaves are extremely low right now, but if he can adopt that Mamba Mentality in his development path, he could eventually find himself making an impact in the league.
Russell Westbrook says he was thinking of Kobe Bryant throughout trade process
Kobe, of course, had a great relationship with many current NBA players, and one of those whom he was closest to is new Lakers guard Russell Westbrook. The southern California native admitted that the legendary Laker remains on his mind and will continue to do so.
“It hasn’t left my head,” Westbrook said. “Things that we’ve talked about, me and him. Just the potential of me being able to be a Laker and understanding what that entails. It’s just crazy to think about, and that will be with me every time I put that Laker jersey on. That’s all I can say about that.”