​​Austin Reaves recalls story of talking s–t to LeBron James during Lakers scrimmage

Peter Dewey
2 Min Read

Los Angeles Lakers rookie guard Austin Reaves has quickly carved out a role on the team in the 2021-22 season.

Reaves, who has been praised by his teammates for not backing down, recalled a story of when he talked trash to superstar LeBron James in an early-season practice.

“His teammates quickly saw that he doesn’t back down,” The Ringer’s Mirin Fade wrote. “One practice, early in the season, during a five-on-five scrimmage, Reaves defended James. James went into the post, backed him down, and turned and shot a fadeaway 15-footer. Reaves stretched his hand high, contesting right to the fingertips of James’s follow-through.

“Good defense, Reaves thought. Then he realized James’s shot went in. OK, whatever. You made one.

“The next defensive possession, Reaves bent his legs low, tried to stop James again. Sure enough, James hit a shot over him in the exact same spot.


“‘He starts talking s—,’ Reaves says.

“And what did Reaves do?

“‘I talk s— back! You got to.’

“James then subbed out of the scrimmage. ‘He kindly told me that I might be able to get a stop now,’ Reaves says.”

While James may have been a mismatch for him, Reaves showed that he’s willing to take on any challenge, even guarding one of the best players of all time.

James is as tough a guard as they come in the NBA. The four-time MVP is averaging 26.3 points, 6.1 rebounds and 7.1 assists per game this season while shooting 50.6 percent from the field and 35.2 percent from beyond the arc.

Reaves has appeared in 16 games in the 2021-22 season for the Lakers. He is averaging 5.3 points, 2.2 rebounds and 1.0 assist in 18.9 minutes per game.

The Lakers appear to have found a scrappy young player that will do whatever it takes to make an impact on the court, even if it means talking smack while he’s at it.

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Peter is a graduate of Quinnipiac University where he covered the MAAC and college basketball for three years. He has worked for NBC Sports, the Connecticut Sun and the Meriden Record-Journal covering basketball and other major sports. Follow him on Twitter @peterdewey2.