Austin Reaves has turned into a legitimate building block of the future for the Los Angeles Lakers as he’s been thriving the past few weeks.
After a career performance against the Orlando Magic, Reaves was rewarded with a spot in the starting lineup and he’s run with the opportunity. In the win over the Chicago Bulls, the second-year guard scored 19 points on an efficient 7-of-8 shooting. Reaves was able to take advantage of the extra room on the floor as the Bulls were focused on Anthony Davis and LeBron James.
Reaves has even shown some more personality on the court, a sign of his growing confidence at the NBA level. With the game in hand, the former undrafted free agent scored over Patrick Beverley and hit the veteran with a taste of his own medicine by doing the ‘too small’ celebration.
Beverley used the same gesture against James in the previous matchup, and Reaves seemed to be repaying the favor. Afterward, James said he appreciated the move from Reaves though he couldn’t help but joke the young guard’s preference for Kobe Bryant growing up, via Spectrum SportsNet:
“That AR always got my back. Always. Even though he loved Kobe back in the day more than me. I forgive him.”
Like a lot of kids growing up in the 2000s, Reaves’ favorite player was Bryant, and for good reason, as the Black Mamba was at the height of his powers back then. After a rough stretch in the middle of the decade, Bryant led the Lakers to two titles and that had to have left an impression on a younger Reaves. In fact, Reaves said Bryant is the one person he would have done anything to meet just once in his life.
The relationship between James and Reaves both on and off the floor is a treat for fans and it’s good to see the former being in such a good mood after a win over the Bulls. Chemistry is always an underrated part of team building, but the two players don’t seem to lack that at all which helps explain why they’ve managed to be so productive together in just two seasons.
Austin Reaves: right time and right situation to use ‘too small’ celebration on Patrick Beverley
Reaves has shown fans a little more edge to his personality in his second season with Los Angeles and he gave people even more cheer about when he used the ‘too small’ gesture against Beverley. Reaves explained that it wasn’t premeditated and that it was the right time and situation for it.
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