Lakers’ Austin Reaves wants new nickname, not fan of “AR-15" or “Hillbilly Kobe”
In a dark cloud of a season in Los Angeles, Austin Reaves was the silver lining for the Lakers. Undrafted out of Oaklahoma, Reaves earned a spot on the roster than in the rotation with his hustle, defense (one of the few Lakers playing it last season) and high IQ game. Frank Vogel and the coaching staff trusted him and by the end of the season he was playing more than 20 minutes a night (he averaged 7.3 points a game).
Lakers fans were drawn to him, and soon were trying to give him nicknames — “AR-15" and “Hillbilly Kobe” were the most prominent two (Reaves wears No. 15).
Reaves wants to move on from those nicknames, particularly AR-15, he told Dave McMenamin of ESPN.
Usually I would say you don’t get to choose your nickname, but Reaves has a point in this case. Not wanting to be associated with a weapon all too often used in mass shootings around the nation is legit (it was the weapon used in the school shooting in Uvalde, Texas, that left 21 people, 19 of them children, dead). Not wanting to be tied that way to the late Lakers’ legend Kobe Bryant also is understandable.
Reaves said he is open to a new nickname if Lakers fans come up with one.
Reaves will be back in the rotation for the Lakers this fall, although exactly what that rotation will look like remains an unanswered question.