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Draymond Green, Kyle Kuzma call out Lakers’ Austin Reaves over nickname fiasco

Austin Reaves Kyle Kuzma Lakers Draymond Green

For a guy who’s played just one NBA season, Los Angeles Lakers rookie Austin Reaves has had a couple of rather interesting nicknames bestowed upon him already.

He’s been called AR-15, which is just his initials matched up with his jersey number. The Lakers youngster has since begged off from the name given its shared meaning with the AR-15 firearm. Reaves has also been referred to as Hillbilly Kobe, which is quite an honor given that he wears the same purple and gold threads that the Black Mamba once wore. Though he has also spoken up against the name just out of respect for Kobe Bryant’s passing.

While Austin Reaves certainly isn’t refusing his nicknames for petty reasons, not everyone is enthused with his stance. Golden State Warriors star Draymond Green interviewed ex-Lakers forward Kyle Kuzma and brought up the subject of Reaves and the shunning of his nicknames. The pair seemed less than enthused over it than most others.

“I saw Austin Reaves who’s on the Lakers come out the other day that he’s trying to shed two nicknames. And it’s like, brother you have not done enough in your career to be trying to shed nicknames that people gave you. I was really blown away when he said that. Brother, you should take those nicknames and try to run with them.”

While Draymond Green admitted that he gets the logic behind going against the AR-15 nickname given its links to the firearm, he pushes that it isn’t that big of a deal on the basketball court. Both of them agree, however, that Hillbilly Kobe shouldn’t be shed in the slightest.

“Personally, Hillbilly Kobe is lit. You have to embrace that one. Come on, bruh. That shit is fire. I’m making that my mantra,” said Kyle Kuzma about the nickname linking Reaves to the Lakers icon.

In the end, Austin Reaves has the final say on what he feels about the nicknames he’s been given. We’ll see if the Lakers sophomore takes up a new title or embraces the Hillbilly Kobe mantle in the years to come.