Much has been said about the aging Los Angeles Lakers roster, but purple and gold showcased one of their raw new talents on Media Day 2021 when Austin Reaves aka “Hillbilly Kobe” took the stage. .
“That’s what they say,” said the rookie when asked for his nickname.
During his interview, the six-foot-five goaltender explained that he was dubbed “Hillbilly Kobe,” his first year playing for the University of Oklahoma.
Ladies and gentlemen…
Hillbilly Kobe. ??#LakeShow
– Lakers Nation (@LakersNationLAX) September 28, 2021
Reaves averaged 18.3 points with 44.3% shooting, 4.6 assists and 5.5 rebounds in his final season with the Sooners before going out of draft in August.
He appeared in five games for the Lakers during the Summer League, where he averaged 6.6 points, 2.0 assists, 3.8 rebounds and 1.0 steals.
The Lakers signed a standard contract with the 23-year-old a day before Media Day.
“With all the superstars we have on this team, six Hall of Fame members if not more, it’s crazy to walk into the gym. I mean, my whole life I’ve grown up watching this kind of guy play, ”Reaves said. “It was crazy seeing it all and knowing that I was going to be a part of it somehow.”
The recruit said his role on a veterans roster came to work every day and be ready.
Reaves, who grew up on a farm in Newark, Arkansas, explained that the Lakers’ rootedness was already in the family’s TSTIME through his grandmother.
“She’s just happy and proud of me. She was a die-hard Kobe fan, so just being in that situation is surreal to her. She is more than proud of me and really she just wants to see me be happy and be successful.
If the Lakers were to win and win the title next June, not only would they get their first chip to Russell Westbrook and Carmelo Anthony, but LA would overtake Boston for the most league titles at 18.