The Los Angeles Lakers may have had a terrible 2021-22 season, but they had an unexpected bright spot in undrafted guard Austin Reaves.
Reaves went from a relative unknown to a pivotal player by season’s end and looks like a long-term piece for the Lakers moving forward. The 23-year-old showed off a versatile skillset and ended his rookie year with a bang when he led Los Angeles to a thrilling overtime win against the Denver Nuggets in their regular-season finale.
The Lakers are currently in the final stages of hiring their next head coach and Reaves discussed the qualities he would like to see in them.
“Just someone that’s gonna put in the work every single day like all of us players do,” Reaves said in an interview with Lakers Nation. “That’s really all you can ask for in a coach, and then just being a guy that can do a little bit of both.
“Holding guys accountable and then, on the other end if, say, you miss a couple of shots, it’s not one that’s like ‘Oh, come on,’ like you’re basically done. You encourage them. But there’s a fine line in between that and I’m definitely not a coach so I wouldn’t know how to do those things together. But, you know, someone that can really control situations and make good situations on the fly.”
As far as whether or not NBA playing experience mattered, Reaves believes that the most important thing for a coach is having a feel for the team.
“Honestly, I’ve never thought about that. I think guys that have played have probably a different feel than those that don’t cause they’ve been through it. But I’m not saying that a guy that hasn’t played can’t come in and be successful and do the right things. I just think that it really depends on the personnel you have and how you manage those guys. It’s not really all about having a feel for the game but having a feel for who you have on your team and what’s best for your team because everybody’s different.”
While people like Magic Johnson believe the Lakers should hire a former player to be their head coach, it sounds like Reaves is content with anyone who will be able to get a handle on the roster. Reaves will be a big part of the rotation next year, and the next Lakers head coach should be able to find a suitable role for him.
Darvin Ham, Stotts, Atkinson listed as Lakers’ finalists for head coaching job
Los Angeles did well to bring in several candidates, but it appears they have narrowed it down to three options. Milwaukee Bucks assistant Darvin Ham, former Portland Trail Blazers head coach Terry Stotts, and former Brooklyn Nets head coach Kenny Atkinson have made the cut and a decision should be coming in the near future.
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