Earlier this summer, rumors started that Lakers star Austin Reaves was dating music icon Taylor Swift. They weren’t particularly convincing rumors to anyone paying attention — they were started by a meme Twitter account called “The Refrigerator” with no actual history of breaking news — but enough other outlets fell for it that rumors began nonetheless.
Reaves has already made it clear he has never met or even spoken to Swift, and even confirmed he has a girlfriend at a fan event in the Philippines when asked if he was single... which promptly led the crowd to chant “Taylor Swift” at him:
The crowd chanting “Taylor Swift” at Austin Reaves (via naaaaaaah69/TT) pic.twitter.com/jjNYmyQBLF— Overtime (@overtime) August 28, 2023
So yeah, those rumors/memes/jokes/links aren’t going away anytime soon. But Reaves was asked about them again during his Tuesday appearance on “The Lowe Post” podcast, with host Zach Lowe taking a different angle in the wake of Swift’s new romance with Kansas City Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce: Did Reaves have any regrets about not attempting his lowest-percentage halfcourt heave yet, and attempting to make The Refrigerator’s joke about meeting Swift in an Arkansas bar a Reaves reality?
Reaves said the answer was no, but made it clear he thinks highly of Swift in the process:
Lowe: When you were watching the Chiefs game yesterday, and Travis Kelce is coming out and there (Swift) is in the luxury suites and the whole world is losing its mind, did part of you think ‘I kind of missed (out), maybe the rumors could have been an excuse for me to reach out and this could have been my life?’”
Reaves: ”Uh, no, not me. I’m a very simple person that likes to keep all my business on the down low... I mean, she’s literally amazing. Music, what she’s done for her career... Her fans are literally, you could say the best fans in the world... But no, not for me, no, I’m happy with where I’m at.”
Good for Reaves, who is clearly comfortable in his own skin, and has been completely respectful to his girlfriend — and, frankly, to Swift — by firmly downplaying any link between him and the singer at every opportunity and declining to objectify her or commodify romantic rumors in any way. In a world that’s increasingly transactional, that’s admirable and honorable, and one can’t help but respect it.
But look, I’m a blogger. I have no self-respect. So let me appeal to Austin’s lesser natures directly for a moment: Look, Austin, buddy... True love with your college sweetheart is great and everything, you know what’s greater? Helping your friends in NBA media get a taste of that sweet, sweet Taylor Swift traffic.
So can you take one for the team and reconsider? I mean hey, it might be financially lucrative for you, too, given how Kelce’s merch is flying off the shelves as Swifties rush to support their hero’s new beau. Do you want to make up the difference between your $56 million contract and the $100 million the Spurs offered? Dating a soon-to-be billionaire with a legion of dedicated fans is a great place to start.
No? You’re still good? OK, fine, I respect that. It was worth a shot. Our rebrand to Swifty Screen and Roll will have to wait.