Austin Reaves’ reaction to finding out Clippers employee started Taylor Swift rumors

Peter Dewey
5 Min Read

A Los Angeles Clippers employee reportedly created the rumor that Austin Reaves linked up with singer-songwriter Taylor Swift.

Swift, who is now reportedly dating Kansas City Chiefs star tight end Travis Kelce, broke up with Matt Healy, and Clippers social media design associate Zain Fahimullah decided to take advantage of it trending on social media.

Fahimullah posted from a burner account on X (the social media platform previously known as Twitter) on June 5 to fabricate that Reaves and Swift were spotted at a bar.

“Following her breakup, Taylor Swift was reportedly seen in an Arkansas Bar this weekend with star Laker basketball player Austin Reaves,” the tweet read.

When the rumor broke, Reaves and his teammates had a good laugh.

“Someone in the team group message at the time sent it just with a bunch of laugh faces,” Reaves told Fox Sports last week. “I can’t remember who it was, though. I don’t even think I responded to it. I was like, ‘Y’all got it. Y’all got this one.'”

The guard apparently also broke out in laughter when informed that a Clippers employee started the rumor.

“Woooooooow,” he said. “That’s crazy. That’s actually funny.”

Even Reaves’ brother found the rumor amusing, reacting to the post on social media.

“Since I’m working for the Clippers, I didn’t want to tweet it off my main, so I tweeted it off there,” Fahimullah, a Lakers fan, told Fox Sports last week off his burner account.

At the time, Fahimullah was tweeting simply because he thought the rumor would be funny. Reaves had grown a major profile in the 2022-23 season for the Lakers, and he was set to become a restricted free agent with a chance to sign a massive contract.

“Austin is the trending boy, like the Lakers’ darling of the summer,” he said, explaining his choice of Reaves. “He just signed this [four-year, $54 million] deal. He’s going to Team USA. Also, the contrast between Austin Reaves and Taylor Swift makes it even funnier. Austin being this small-town kid, like a farmer. And Taylor Swift being this mega-superstar. So, I think that’s why I chose him.”

When the news reached Reaves, his girlfriend revealed that she had already seen the rumor.

“I just started laughing,” Reaves said. “I was playing cards with my brother, my best friend and my girlfriend, actually. I said something [about it] and she looked at me and was like, ‘Yeah, I’ve seen that.’

“I was like, ‘Yeah, one night when you were asleep I just snuck away and went to a bar.’ She obviously laughed about it and said, ‘If it were at a golf course, I would’ve been a little more worried.'”

In the aftermath of the tweet, Fahimullah felt bad that the post had blown up so much that Reaves was being asked questions about it.

However, the Lakers star guard doesn’t seem to mind too much.

“Any time you’re in L.A. and you play for the Lakers, you’re going to get a lot of attention,” Reaves said. “And obviously [Swift] is a superstar herself. So, I think the two names just blew up.”

Reaves took his game to a new level in the 2022-23 season, averaging 13.0 points, 3.0 rebounds and 3.4 assists per game while shooting 52.9 percent from the field and 39.8 percent from beyond the arc.

He has become an integral part of the Lakers’ rotation, and he’s a major reason why the team made the Western Conference Finals last season.

In the playoffs, Reaves averaged 16.9 points, 4.4 rebounds and 4.6 assists per game in 16 games while shooting 46.4 percent from the field and 44.3 percent from 3-point range.

Fahimullah’s joke ended up turning into a huge rumor in the offseason, but it only shows just how big Reaves’ profile has grown in Los Angeles.

The Lakers are hoping that Reaves can continue to gain recognition with his play on the floor with the 2023-24 NBA regular season approaching quickly.

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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.