Lakers News: Austin Reaves Ranked No. 13 Most-Viewed Player On NBA Social Media In 2023
Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Playing for the Los Angeles Lakers comes with massive expectations and pressure given the franchise’s history of winning championships, and not every player is built to withstand that.

Numerous players have come to Los Angeles, and plenty of them were unable to live up to the demands of excellence and titles. However, when players like Austin Reaves come through and welcome the challenge of competing for the world’s most recognizable sports team, he is instantly adorned.

Reaves has been nothing short of a revelation since going undrafted in 2021 as he went from complete unknown to almost a household name. Reaves is about as competitive as any player in the league, which is why he’s been frustrated with the Lakers’ recent stretch.

While the rising guard tries to help get the team out of its funk, he is making quite the impression on fans. According to the NBA, Reaves was the 13th most-viewed player on social media during the 2023 calendar year:

“Undrafted success stories are few, and Reaves carving one under the Laker limelight has only added to the feel-good nature of his NBA breakthrough. Reaves’ moments with L.A. as well as Team USA have boosted his popularity and expectations. Nothing, perhaps, will eclipse his “I’m Him” moment from last postseason.”

Reaves broke out during the 2023 NBA Playoffs as Los Angeles’ third-best player, and he punctuated his arrival with a clutch performance against the Memphis Grizzlies in Game 1 of the first round. Reaves scored 14 points in the fourth quarter and yelled the now-famous “I’m him!” comment that made the rounds online.

Since then, Reaves has been able to build on last season as he’s assumed more control of the Lakers’ half-court offense despite being moved to the bench. While not the fastest or most athletic player, Reaves is crafty with the basketball in his hands and should deliver more highlight reel moves in 2024.

Reaves wasn’t the only member of the Lakers to crack the top 15 in social views in 2023 as LeBron James of course came in at No. 1 with Anthony Davis at No. 11.

LeBron James & Austin Reaves shine for Lakers

Head coach Darvin Ham has been tinkering around with the Lakers lineup the past couple of weeks, but one exception has been keeping Reaves part of the second unit.

Reaves began the 2023-24 season as a starter, but was moved to the bench to maximize lineups.

It’s an odd choice considering Reaves’ chemistry with James and the latter acknowledged that’s always great to play with him no matter where he is on the floor.

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