Lakers’ Rookie Austin Reaves Pays Tribute to Idol Kobe Bryant on Opening Night

Published 10/20/2021, 1:30 PM EDT
LOS ANGELES, CA. JAN. 04, 2015. Lakers’ #24 Kobe Bryant all smiles after an assist from teammate Carlos Boozer in a game vs the Pacers’ in the 1st half of the game at Staple Center in Los Angeles on Jan. 04, 2015. LA Lakers play the Indiana Pacers in a regular NBA season game. (Photo by Lawrence K. Ho/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images)


The Los Angeles Lakers opening night didn’t go according to plan at all. Despite having control for the most part of the game, the Golden State Warriors had a big fourth quarter that helped them take the lead, and finally the 121-114 victory as well. However, in the midst of all this, Lakers’ rookie Austin Reaves was able to pay homage to the franchise’s legend, Kobe Bryant.

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Austin Reaves dons hoodie with Kobe Bryant on it

Austin Reaves was a breath of fresh air for the Lakers during the preseason. His spacing and shooting were certainly one to look carefully at, and also something the purple and gold desperately needed at this time, especially at the point guard position. The 23-year-old joined the Lakers this offseason after displaying some skills that are considered unique in the league.

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The Lakers did all they could to build a super team that would ensure another NBA championship. Unfortunately, injury woes have them shaken up a little. With so many players missing, they are taking their own sweet time to get back into rhythm. And this also affected their game against the Warriors on opening night.

Kobe Bryant, wouldn’t be too happy about losing a game that was almost in their grip. What he would be happy about is the new addition of the organization, Reaves, who decided to pay his respects to Bryant by flaunting a hoodie with his picture on the back.

WATCH THIS STORY: Sneakers from Adidas and Nike That Kobe Bryant Wore During His Iconic 5 NBA Championships

Can the Los Angeles Lakers pull themselves out of this mess?

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Fans are nothing but worried so far. It might just be the first game of the season, but they did lose all five in the preseason as well. Although LeBron James and Anthony Davis showcased their mid-season chemistry, Russell Westbrook was hardly present. This was supposed to be the ‘Big Three’ that would wreak havoc in the Western Conference, but that’s not even close to what’s happening.

Next up, they’re playing the Eastern Conference Finals’ winners of 2020-21, the Phoenix Suns. With Chris Paul, Devin Booker, DeAndre Ayton, and other great players facing them, the purple and gold have a lot to worry about.

Oct 19, 2021; Los Angeles, California, USA; Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James (6) dunks a ball during the second half of the NBA game against the Golden State Warriors at Staples Center. The Warriors won 121-114. Mandatory Credit: Kiyoshi Mio-USA TODAY Sports

If it keeps going like this, they’ll prove all their haters right and not even make it to the playoffs. Of course, that’s a little too soon to predict and harsh as well, but unless they buck up, it’s not unlikely.

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DIVE DEEPER

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Yashima Bhatia

1743 articles

Yashima Bhatia is an NBA writer for EssentiallySports who specialises in providing nuanced predictions and updates for matches. She has a Bachelor's degree in journalism and mass communication. Yashima's love for playing the game came up at a young age, when the excitement of the games coupled with the intensity of the Playoffs had her hooked.

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