With Los Angeles Lakers media day and training camp quickly approaching, it summons the end of the Summer of Reaves. From early offseason Taylor Swift rumors to international success with Team USA, Austin Reaves dominated headlines.
On Tuesday, Reaves made an appearance on the Lowe Post podcast with Zach Lowe where he discussed both those topics as well as his relationship with LeBron James, and Anthony Davis’ jump shot.
Anthony Davis’ improved jumper (and what it means for the Lakers):
This last week footage leaked of Lakers players leaving a gym on San Diego State’s campus which, to anyone who’s followed LeBron, lets us know that he and the team had their annual players-only mini-camp before the team’s training camp starts up.
Even better, Reaves said there was 100% attendance. While Austin revealed that there wasn’t much 5 v 5 or hardcore drills being run, he did say there was a fair amount of 5 v 0 and shooting competitions.
This led to him revealing quite possibly the best news Lakers fans have had since 2020. Reaves said that Anthony Davis has been, “shooting the ball very well.” He went on to say, ” That’s something that I’ve been trying to get him to do more, is shoot – because even if he does that at a decent level – literally you can’t guard him.” I couldn’t agree more Austin.
In the 2019-2020 season in which the Lakers captured their 17th Larry O’Brien Trophy, Anthony Davis could kill you from any spot on the court. AD shot 50% overall from the field, 33% from 3 and a whopping 85% from the stripe. If Davis can return to some semblance of what he produced that season with the excess of weapons the Lakers now have, that’s a problem for other teams.
The moment LeBron James deferred to Austin Reaves
One of the largest findings of last season for the purple and golf was the emergence of Austin Reaves as a more than capable and reliable number three behind LeBron and Anthony Davis; something Los Angeles had been searching for since making the trade for the all-world big man in the summer of 2018. After the trade deadline, Reaves found himself with the ball in his hands on a much more frequent basis and proved himself to be a valuable secondary ball handler.
In Tuesday’s podcast, Reaves mentioned a moment in his iconic “I’m Him” game where Desmond Bane had missed a three, and while running back in transition, LeBron actually called on him to come back and take the ball from him.
This not only resulted in a made three from Reaves but spurred a compliment as well from coach Handy to both LeBron and AD. In a film session after the game, Handy said, “I haven’t seen y’all do that in a while – I haven’t seen y’all put y’alls trust in another player like that, especially in this big of a moment.”
Quite a moment for the second-year undrafted guard not only to have the moment he had but to also be a catalyst for growth in two of the NBA’s premier players.
Team USA and his golf game
This summer when Reaves got the call from Team USA, he and some in his camp had to question if it was for the select team. When finding out it was for the varsity squad, he took full advantage and the rest is history.
Lowe asked Reaves about the possibility of a defensive weakness being exposed this summer against teams like Lithuania. Reaves had a perfectly logical response. While admitting he did get a few buckets given to him, he mentioned the fact that for the most part Team USA’s main goal was to shut down the three which often left post defenders on islands.
"“I think he took seven dribbles, six dribbles? Now me personally I think I could go post up Bron right now and I get six dribbles – I’m not gonna say I’m gonna score, but I could probably go wherever I wanted to go.”"
After this comment, he went on to say that you just can’t afford to do that in the NBA with not only help defense looming, but also in Reaves’ case, Anthony Davis looming. I’d say that “weakness” isn’t necessarily something that will haunt the Lakers.
Austin was also asked about about his golf game and his newly blown-up TikTok page HillbillyBogey. At one point he mentioned he’d be willing to take on Warriors point guard Steph Curry at any link at any time.
We love the confidence out of the young man. He noted that much of the golf experiences he’s been able to enjoy are much in part to do with the connections of simply being a Laker, and that much of his TikTok exposure was due to good ole Laker faithful.
As always, boy ain’t it good to be a Laker.