The Lakers have a player nicknamed ‘Hillbilly Kobe’
Los Angeles Lakers rookie Austin Reaves may be the least heralded player on the star-studded team, but he may boast the most instantly iconic nickname: “Hillbilly Kobe.”
Reaves — who went undrafted out of Oklahoma and recently had his two-way contract converted into a two-year deal, giving him the 14th spot on the Lakers’ active roster — spoke to reporters at Lakers Media Day.
To the surprise of everybody in attendance — including Reaves — the 23-year old wing was asked by The Athletic’s Bill Oram about his hilarious moniker.
Oram: “Am I correct that your nickname is ‘Hillbilly Kobe’?.”
Reaves: “That’s what they say.”
Oram asked for the background behind the nickname, and what it means to carry that nickname now that he’s a member of the Lakers.
Reaves said he had a graduate assistant at Oklahoma who came up with it. Not surprisingly, the nickname quickly caught on with his teammates, and he’s been stuck with it ever since.
Lakers rookie Austin Reaves' nickname is "Hillbilly Kobe" 😂
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) September 28, 2021
Reaves added that as a kid “from Arkansas in the middle of nowhere” who “grew up on a farm” who was a huge fan of Kobe Bryant (and considering he was a star two-guard growing up), the nickname “kind of fits.”
Even more enjoyable was Talen Horton-Tucker‘s speechless giggle fit upon learning Reaves’ nickname:
THT learning Austin Reaves nickname is “Hillbilly Kobe” is the most wholesome thing you’ll see all day 🤣🤣🤣 pic.twitter.com/j2xH6SXAQs
— LakeShowScoop (@LakeShowScoop) September 28, 2021
I can safely report that Austin Reaves’ nickname will not be going anywhere, anytime soon.