Los Angeles Lakers rookie Austin Reaves made headlines on Wednesday after hitting an epic game-winner in overtime against the Dallas Mavericks. His stock is now on the rise and he could not have picked a better time for the struggling Lakers.
Reaves recently sat down with Mirin Fader of The Ringer as he narrated an epic story involving Lakers teammate LeBron James. The rookie once butted heads with The King in practice and it resulted in an unforgettable experience for Austin Reaves:
His teammates quickly saw that he doesn’t back down. One practice, early in the season, during a five-on-five scrimmage, Reaves defended James. James went into the post, backed him down, and turned and shot a fadeaway 15-footer. Reaves stretched his hand high, contesting right to the fingertips of James’s follow-through.
Good defense,Reaves thought. Then he realized James’s shot went in. OK, whatever. You made one.
The next defensive possession, Reaves bent his legs low, tried to stop James again. Sure enough, James hit a shot over him in the exact same spot.
“He starts talking shit,” Reaves says.
And what did Reaves do?
“I talk shit back! You got to.”
James then subbed out of the scrimmage. “He kindly told me that I might be able to get a stop now,” Reaves says.
Now that’s not the type of story you hear every day. Very few are able to have this type of encounter with the great LeBron James, and for Reaves, it is clear that he counts himself lucky to be one of the select few.
Nevertheless, it is also abundantly clear that Reaves is not the type to back down. Not from anybody. Not even the great LeBron James. And this is exactly why his teammates have grown fond of him and why Reaves is set to be a fan-favorite for Lakers nation.