“Never Really Been Big Into Stats”: Lakers’ New Addition Channels Kobe Bryant to Succeed in NBA 2021-22

Published 09/28/2021, 10:53 AM EDT
Lakers guard Kobe Bryant reacts after scoring in Game 2 of the western conference finals. (Photo by Luis Sinco/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images)


In their latest move of the 2021 off-season, the Los Angeles Lakers have signed 23-year-old Austin Reaves. The guard has signed up for a two-year-contract, and will play alongside LeBron James, Anthony Davis, Russell Westbrook and more. He will get to learn from the best, and can draw inspiration from the numerous Lakers icons. One of them will also be someone who won’t necessarily be on court with him; the legendary Kobe Bryant.

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The Newark-born youngster has shone in college basketball, before the yellow brigade acquired him in a two-way deal. He has now reportedly signed a partially guaranteed first year contract, with a team option for the second. Playing primarily as a shooting guard, he averaged over 18 points in 2020-21. Now part of a franchise with so much history, Reaves will have to sustain with the big boys. Can he succeed?

New Laker Austin Reaves reveals how he will draw inspiration from Kobe Bryant

There is no shortage of icons in the history of the Los Angeles Lakers. One of their greatest players over the years, has been Kobe Bryant. The late legend has invoked a mentality that will be etched in the minds of all Lakers fans for eternity. Recently, Reaves featured in an interview on the Lakers podcast. Upon being asked about what part of Kobe’s game he would like to take into his own, the prodigy had a lot to say.

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“I think it’s really the mentality, the way he [Kobe] approached the game,” asserted Reaves. “I mean he was gonna do literally whatever it took to win. It didn’t matter if it was scoring, playing defense, assisting. It didn’t matter, he was gonna do what he thought could help the team win. So really just trying to be a winner. Myself growing up, that’s all I tried to do, I’ve never really been big into stats. And I feel like that’s what everybody looks at now.”

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LOS ANGELES, CALIF. – JAN. 13, 2015. Lakers guard Kobe Bryant warms up before a game against the Miami Heat on Tuesday, Jan. 13, 2015, at Staples Center in Los Angeles. (Photo by Luis Sinco/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images)

Truer words have rarely been spoken, as Kobe Bryant certainly always did whatever it took to make his team win. He was a true inspiration for all athletes, and most definitely will continue to be so. Rest assured, Austin Reaves will aim to channel every ounce of Mamba mentality during his stint with LeBron James and co.

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Sankalp Harikrishnan

311 articles

Sankalp Harikrishnan is a tennis and NBA writer at EssentiallySports. He aspires to pursue Sports Journalism and has represented his institution in cricket, badminton, football, and table tennis. Apart from his professional desires, Sankalp does voluntary service with his friends to feed hungry animals on a regular basis.

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