Austin Reaves’ ascent from undrafted player to Team USA representative has included a number of items marked off the checklist along the way. While there are no written rules on the requirements to be Him, as Reaves has declared himself, having a signature shoe feels like a pretty strong start.
Check that one off the list.
Reaves will have a signature shoe with Chinese company Rigorer, who signed him long before his breakout second season. He’s also going to get a big payday from them as well, as reported by Shams Charania of The Athletic.
Ahead of NBA free agency, Lakers guard Austin Reaves and Chinese company Rigorer are finalizing a signature shoe deal that is expected to reach over seven figures per year. Reaves on the new AR1: pic.twitter.com/B7WSCzGvri— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) June 15, 2023
Reaves himself announced the signature shoe that’s on its way on his Instagram on Thursday as well.
While I’m admittedly someone far removed from having any sense of fashion, this is a shoe that looks tremendously great.
Now, if we wanted to start reading into things way too much, we could also do that. The shoe, his first signature shoe, is purple and gold and clearly is heavily influenced by Lakers colors. Surely he wouldn’t go play for, say, the Houston Rockets with a shoe like that.
If you want an even bigger galaxy-brain take, Reaves certainly could have gotten a big payday elsewhere for this shoe deal. Now, were there contracts in place that prevented him from going to a bigger shoe brand but also Reaves remained loyal and signed his deal with Rigorer. Will he show that loyalty in free agency with the Lakers?
Jokes aside, it remains very cool to see Reaves succeed like this. Setting aside the cliches of him being a relatable player or anything like that, almost exactly two years ago, Reaves went undrafted.
Since then, he’s played his way into an NBA contract, a starting role on a playoff team, a huge payday this summer, a signature shoe and a spot on Team USA. Calling this a meteoric rise feels like it’s underselling the situation.
Hopefully, at least, that rise continues with the Lakers moving forward with All-Star and All-NBA nods to follow.
You can follow Jacob on Twitter at @JacobRude.