LeBron James Got Emotional as 24-Year-Old Lakers Star Finally Gets His Moment in the Media Spotlight: “My Guy, My Dog..”

Published 06/23/2022, 7:30 AM EDT
Mar 21, 2022; Cleveland, Ohio, USA; Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James (6) goes through his pregame ritual before a game against the Cleveland Cavaliers at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse. Mandatory Credit: David Richard-USA TODAY Sports

LeBron James became emotional over the media spotlight received by Los Angeles Lakers teammate, Austin Reaves. On Twitter, James congratulated Reaves on a piece written by the LA Times on him. The 24-year-old NBA star has been quietly doing his work with the Lakers.

He has been ably guided by one of the greatest ever to do it. LeBron is the unofficial captain of the Lakers, hence his encouragement must have been great for Reaves. LeBron James thinks that there is something special brewing for the Lakers and that Austin Reaves is a big part of this project.

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In this LA Times piece, Austin Reaves details how he came from a farm in Newark, Arkansas. The “Hillbilly Kobe” was undrafted in last year’s NBA draft but was acquired by the Los Angeles Lakers in a two-way deal. He ultimately signed a proper NBA contract, a month after, in September.

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He was a college star as well, playing with the likes of Landry Shamet. At Wichita State, his scoring numbers stood out. Within his limited minutes, he had a three-point shooting percentage of almost 51%. In 2018, he shifted to Oklahoma where he started scoring even more. In 2021, he felt he was ready for the NBA draft after scoring 18.3 points per game and having 5.5 rebounds and 4.6 assists per game.

LeBron James as a mentor to Austin Reaves

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LeBron James has put the onus on himself to guide Reaves. The latter is a promising player but still needs to find his place in the NBA. There is perhaps no better player to do that than alongside LeBron James. The latter has been seen guide Reaves through plays and make better shots.

Mar 19, 2022; Washington, District of Columbia, USA; Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James (6) celebrates with guard Malik Monk (11) and guard Austin Reaves (15) drug the first half against the Washington Wizards at Capital One Arena. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

James, in his 19th year, has scored more than 30 points per game for a flailing Los Angeles Lakers team. Austin Reaves has turned out to be one of the bright spots during this season. The latter mentioned how even his performances were under a scanner at home this season. His mother pointed out that she was seeing his mistakes more.

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In spite of all of that, Reaves is very popular in his small town. Newark, Arkansas doesn’t have many NBA players on their roster but Reaves has just changed things up.

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Aditya Kar

272 articles

Aditya Kar is an NBA writer for EssentiallySports. A holder of Bachelors and Masters degrees in History, he has been a fan of the NBA since 2011. He has a very keen interest in the stories that define the league and the sport.

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