Lakers’ Austin Reaves talks on how Russell Westbrook’s “empowering” approach influenced him throughout his rookie year

Austin Reaves, is a promising young talent in the Los Angeles Lakers roster. Notably in March, Reaves scored the final 10 points for the Los Angeles Lakers in a 111-105 victory over the Orlando Magic. The NBA star finished with 35 points, six rebounds, and six assists off the bench. He signed on as an undrafted free agent with the Lakers.

Besides being the man Lakers coach has entrusted a lot of responsibility on, he is also subbed to be helping Davis and James to win this years’ championship. Recently, he opened up about his experience with Russell Westbrook. 

Austin Reaves Explains Russell Westbrook’s True Nature

Recently in an episode of the Full Send Podcast, Austin Reaves spoke highly of his former teammate Russell Westbrook. Reaves, hailing from a small town, found himself on the NBA’s grand stage as part of the Los Angeles Lakers.

The transition from college basketball to the professional space was challenging. However, Austin Reaves was fortunate to have Russell Westbrook. In his words” The one thing I will say about Russ is that he was probably one of my favorite teammates I’ve ever had. Always in a good mood to me”

Austin Reaves also shared an incident in which he fell ill in Minnesota and Westbrook was constantly checking up on him to see how he was doing. ” I got Covid in December of my rookie year, in Minnesota. Westbrook reached out like three or four times, asked if I need anything, offered to send me stuff, whatever I needed”.

This is why Austin Reaves and Westbrook have developed a strong bond, despite attempts by people to portray him negatively.

Dazzling Performances for the Lakers

The Laker’s 2023 season has been quite significant for Reaves. Reaves made a strong debut for Team USA against Puerto Rico in their opening exhibition game. He came off the bench and scored nine points in just a few seconds.

Austin Reaves also impressed the audience again when the USA defeated Slovenia in a 92-62 win. The Slovenian team was missing one of its best players, Luka Doncic. Reaves with his great defense skills came off the bench and scored 10 points.

Austin Reaves

This earned him a new four-year, $54 million contract with the Lakers in free agency just two years after going undrafted. The agreement includes a 15% trade kicker and a player option for the fourth season. Reaves played on a minimal contract before becoming a restricted free agent this summer. With this early-bird contract, the Lakers are paying him more than they ever have. 

What do you have to say about this news and the camaraderie between Russ and Reaves? Do well to leave us with a comment.


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