The story of Austin Reaves growing up a Kobe Bryant fan has been one told a number of times. Thanks to the guidance of his grandmother, a little boy from Arkansas made one of the best decisions of his life.
But Reaves was no average Kobe fan. Like most of us, he was a diehard fan. On his recent appearance on the All The Smoke podcast, Reaves was asked for his favorite Kobe memory and with many to choose from, he chose one of the most recent.
“For me, it was probably his last game. I remember I was watching it in my brother’s room, actually…and we’re two hours behind in Arkansas so it was probably 11:30 p.m. Towards the end of the game, I’m up screaming, jumping. I’m lit. And my mom opens the door and she’s like ‘Is everything okay?’ I was like ‘Get the hell out of here. Go back to bed. This is real.’”
Again, as we were all doing in that moment, Reaves was in shock and celebrating as Kobe crept closer and closer to a 60-point game. It was a memorable night for any Lakers fan, Reaves among them.
Reaves and Bryant never met — as far as we know at least — but that didn’t stop Reaves from helping Bryant’s family recently. Also on the podcast, co-host Matt Barnes revealed that he reached out to Reaves during the playoffs to send a video to Bryant’s nephew.
Kobe Bryant's nephew Logan, here is his reaction to Austin Reaves birthday message.— Omar Siddiqi (@osid24) July 20, 2023
When he picked up the phone and saw Austin's face he was completely floored.
Austin is going to be a Laker for life, isn't he?
Love these moments. https://t.co/vaVbPP2546 pic.twitter.com/xRh6kzFV7D
There’s something about having a player on the Lakers that grew up a fan, and not just in a general sense but as a real Lakers fan. Reaves clearly was a Kobe diehard in his younger years — just ask LeBron — and that makes it a lot more fun to watch him succeed in the purple and gold now.
You can follow Jacob on Twitter at @JacobRude.