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Draymond Green Says Lakers’ Austin Reaves Should Run with ‘Hillbilly Kobe’ Nickname

Austin Reaves (Alex Goodlett/Getty Images)

The Golden State Warriors’ Draymond
Green and Washington Wizards’ Kyle Kuzma said Los Angeles Lakers
guard Austin Reaves should embrace the “Hillbilly Kobe” nickname.

Kuzma said Thursday on The Draymond
Green Show
he thinks the moniker is “lit” and the four-time NBA
champion agreed.

“You better embrace that one,” Green said (around the 8:30 mark). “You kidding me? Any Kobe—Hillbilly Kobe? You should be running with that. By the way, if I’m him and
they’re calling me Hillbilly Kobe, I’m trying to be in the next White
Men Can’t Jump
. I’m trying to really run with that.”

The conversation comes after Reaves
said in July he’d try to distance himself from two nicknames that
emerged last season, with the other being “AR-15.”

“I don’t condone any gun violence
that happens around our country,” Reaves told ESPN’s Dave
. “But you can’t really control what [nickname] people
give you. I mean, I didn’t come out and say my name was that. There’s
been others, like the ‘Hillbilly Kobe,’ that probably aren’t the best
thing in the situation that’s going on, with Kobe’s passing.”

The second-year guard added he’s “open
to new ideas” from Lakers fans.

Reaves, who was assigned No. 15 after wearing No. 12 in college with Wichita State and Oklahoma, was one of the bright spots of
an otherwise forgettable 2021-22 season for L.A., which missed the
playoffs with a 33-49 record.

The 24-year-old Arkansas native
averaged 7.3 points, 3.2 rebounds and 1.8 assists in 61 games while
playing some terrific wing defense—he ranked in a tie for 12th
among shooting guards in FiveThirtyEight’s defensive RAPTOR metric

It’s unclear whether he’s willing to
change his stance on Hillbilly Kobe, but he’s slated to once again
play a key depth role for the Lakers heading into the 2022-23 season.

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