During a surprisingly successful rookie season in which Reaves went from being an unqualified potential client to a two-way assignment to signing a two-year contract and becoming a rookie, he earned two nicknames from the Lakers’ faithful: “AR-15” and “Hilbilly Kobe.”
It would be okay for Reaves to distance himself from both.
“I don’t condone any armed violence happening across our country,” Reeves told ESPN. “But you really can’t control what [nickname] people give you. I mean, I didn’t come out and say my name was. There were others, like ‘Hilbeli Kobe’, which is probably not the best thing in the situation that is happening, with Kobe dying.”
Earlier this week, University of Florida quarterback Anthony Richardson, who, like Reeves, wears a No. 15 in his uniform, unleashed his AR-15 league.
“While the nickname is nothing more than a pseudonym and the ‘AR-15’ was merely a representation of my initials with my jersey number, it is important to me that my name and brand not be associated with the assault rifle that was used in the assault rifle that was used in the assault rifle,” Richardson said in a statement on Twitter. : A mass shooting that I do not condone in any way.
Reeves, 24, came across Richardson’s story and liked the 21-year-old.
“I’m so happy for him,” Reeves said. “I want him to use his voice.” “Everyone should be able to speak freely about what they believe in. I feel that more people need to take positions like this and express how they really feel because that is the way things are asked. This is the way you ask questions to raise eyebrows and look at things. Therefore, I am happy for him and wish him nothing but the best.”
The AR-15 semi-automatic rifle was the rifle used at an elementary school in Ovaldi, Texas in May when 21 people were killed—most of them children. It has been the weapon of choice in 11 mass shootings in the United States since 2012, according to USA Today.
“Every time something like this happens, your heart drops and you feel for the families that were so attached to it all,” Reeves said.
Reeves wore a number 12 “all his life” but had to pick a different number when he came to LA because Kendrick Noone actually claimed it. After his test number 31 during the summer league last year – the number his brother wears and the number his mom wears on the basketball court – he decided a lower number suited him better.
He said of the number 31: “I didn’t really like how it looked to me. Fifteen is very similar to 12. Five and two just flipped.”
Although the people of Newark, Arkansas, grew up shooting rifles, this use was very different from the use of artillery as part of the general massacres that plagued the United States.
“It’s literally just farmland,” Reeves said of his small town of just 1,200. “People hunt. You hunt deer. You hunt ducks. You hunt turkeys. You do all these things.”
He hopes his play this coming season will inspire Lakers fans to create a new brand for him.
“I am always open to new ideas,” he said. “Because there’s always someone else who might stand still and could be better than the other that was before. So I’m always open to new things and for people to really open their minds and think of new things for me. That stuff also helps us with brand situations and things like that.” ”
Most of all, after the Lakers struggled last season, Reeves hopes to be branded a winner.
“The main goal is just to win basketball games,” Reeves said when asked to look at his goals in his second season. “That’s all I care. Winning. Last year was a disappointment, but you have to turn the page and find out how we can combine this to make it work.”