“I was sh**ting on you” – Austin Reaves clarifies mocking LeBron James in 2012

Imagine the look on LeBron James’ face the day he opened social media and discovered that one of his teammates used to dislike him growing up. Austin Reaves, who has earned the trust of his squad and is now a fan-favorite in Southern California, was initially a LeBron hater.

Indiana Pacers v Los Angeles Lakers

Indiana Pacers v Los Angeles Lakers

According to Melissa Rohlin of FOX Sports, Reaves’ heart sank when he found out that his old Facebook posts had been unearthed. Back in 2012 when he was 13, Reaves was a die-hard Kobe Bryant fan and that meant despising all other superstars who were compared to Bryant.

In 2012, there was a lot of chatter that LeBron James could not lead teams to championships. He had lost in the Finals in 2007 with the Cavs and in 2011 in a stunning collapse where he put up one of the worst performances by a superstar. On April 12, 2021, the Miami Heat lost to the first-seeded Chicago Bulls by 10 points and Austin Reaves posted a meme on a backdrop image of Kobe Bryant shrugging, which read:

“When I need some peace and quiet I set my phone to LeBron mode, no ring.”

View image on Twitter

In 2023 when his old Facebook posts got discovered, Austin Reaves felt the best course of action would be to address LeBron James himself and clear the air. As reported by FOX Sports’ Melissa Rohlin:

“I called Bron over and was like, ‘Look, I was sh**ting on you back in 2012. I was a Kobe fan.’ [James] just laughed it off.”

As per Reaves, James laughed it off and didn’t pay any heed to the matter.

Interestingly, Reaves posted the meme on April 12, 2012, and after 70 days, LeBron James lifted his first-ever Larry O’Brien trophy.

LeBron James knew Austin Reaves’ potential from their first practice together

(L-R) Austin Reaves, Anthony Davis and LeBron James of the LA Lakers

(L-R) Austin Reaves, Anthony Davis and LeBron James of the LA Lakers

Austin Reaves isn’t just a teammate of LeBron. He is one of the main pieces of the Lakers roster and a key part of their championship run this year. Once a two-way player who went undrafted in the NBA draft, he is now a starter in the Western Conference semifinals.

Reaves dropped 23 points on 61.5% shooting for the Purple and Gold in Game 1 against the Memphis Grizzlies on his playoff debut. Asked about his performance after the game, James said:

“It’s not surprising to me. I knew from the first practice that we had that he wasn’t gonna be a two-way player for long. … I’ve been around the game long enough to know great basketball IQ players and I know the type of players that fit my game and I knew Austin [Reaves] would be that right away.”

James was right. Austin Reaves showed up in Game 4 against the Golden State Warriors, dropping 21 points on 7-15 shooting to take a commanding 3-1 series lead over the defending champions.

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