New Arrival Austin Reaves Reveals How His Kobe Bryant Fandom Drew Him to Lakers

Published 08/04/2021, 7:30 AM EDT
Los Angeles Lakers shooting guard Kobe Bryant (24) reacts following the second half of the Nuggets 102-99 win in game five of their NBA playoff game at the Staples Center in Los Angeles on Tuesday, May 8, 2012. AAron Ontiveroz, The Denver Post (Photo By AAron Ontiveroz/The Denver Post via Getty Images)


The Los Angeles Lakers are ruling this trade season by acquiring a power-packed veteran squad. Amidst Carmelo Anthony, Russell Westbrook, and other bigwigs, a young man Austin Reaves has recently checked into LA. Like any other debutant, Austin is here for Lakers’ legend Kobe Bryant.

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LeBron James and his army emerged as bubble champions in 2020. But the hype got subdued last season with a disappointing first-round loss to Phoenix Suns. Due to an injury-plagued season for the Lakers, their team couldn’t find the right balance.

May 25, 2021; Phoenix, Arizona, USA; Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James (23) celebrates with teammates against the Phoenix Suns during the first half in game two of the first round of the 2021 NBA Playoffs at Phoenix Suns Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

However, this summer has been particularly exciting for purple-gold fans. Carmelo Anthony, Russell Westbrook, and Dwight Howard have made it to the Kobe Bryant banner. They have signed contracts with the Lakers and it seems like one of the most stacked teams of the league at the moment.

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DIVE DEEPER

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Kobe Bryant is attracting young players to Los Angeles to date

In a recent deal, the Lakers acquired Joel Ayayi and Austin Reaves in two-way contracts. Reaves, who played college basketball for Wichita State Shockers and Oklahoma Sooners, is now in the big league. More so, it’s Kobe’s franchise and the 23-YO guard is more than happy to be here.

Reaves reacted to this famous news and said – “It’s the Lakers. I grew up a huge Kobe fan.” It’s a dream come true moment for Austin Reaves, while Staples Center is all set for him. Last season, Reaves averaged 18.3 points (.443 FG%, .305 3P%), 5.5 rebounds, and 4.6 assists for Oklahoma in a total of 25 games. Moreover, he was also selected in the 2020-21 All-Big 12 First Team.

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The memorable Kobe-Lakers legacy

Be it a rookie or a veteran, every player entering the Lakers roster has had Kobe on his mind. Austin Reaves is going to join a bundle full of experience in the 2021-22 Lakers team. Their starting line-up is a complete package of 35+ years old veterans. But, Reaves is simply excited to be in Kobe city.

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Kobe Bryant, who carried his legacy in Lakers for 20 years, led his team to five championships. Popularly known as the Black Mamba, Kobe’s career average is 25 points. He is a 2-time NBA Finals MVP, 18-time NBA All-Star, and an 11-time All-NBA Team selection.

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Pavni Ahuja

500 articles

Pavni Ahuja is an NBA writer at EssentiallySports. Housing a keen interest in sports journalism, she is pursuing an undergraduate Journalism degree from Christ University. Pavni is an ardent fan of the NBA, with prior district-level playing experience in basketball.

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