Lakers’ Austin Reaves reveals origin of ‘Hillbilly Kobe’ nickname

Los Angeles Lakers rookie Austin Reaves on Tuesday explained the origin of how he got a rather hilarious nickname playing in college at the University of Oklahoma.

Reaves, who went undrafted, played two seasons with the Sooners after redshirting following a transfer from Wichita State. He averaged 18.3 points, 5.5 rebounds, 4.6 assists in 25 games with the Sooners last season, earning All-Big 12 first-team honors.

During his first season with the program, a graduate assistant approached him one day and then proceeded to give him the “Hillbilly Kobe” nickname. It would eventually stick with him.

He came up to me one day and was like, ‘I figured it out.’ I was like, ‘What are you even talking about?’ He was like, ‘HBK.’ I was like, ‘What?’ He was like, ‘Hillbilly Kobe.’ Then, one of the teammates heard it and it stuck. For three years, that’s what they said around just Oklahoma and then I guess people caught wind of it elsewhere. I mean, it is what it is. I just move forward from it.

Reaves grew up in Arkansas a huge fan of Kobe Bryant as the five-time NBA champion was one of his favorite players. His grandmother liked the mentality that Bryant played with and that was a huge reason why he would watch him as a youngster.

The opportunity to play on the team that Bryant dominated with for 20 years has Reaves rather excited to get to work. His two-way contract was upgraded last week to a standard NBA deal, ensuring he will claim one of 15 roster spots to start the season.

So, is Reaves more hillbilly or more Kobe? “We’ll go 50-50.”

This post originally appeared on Rookie Wire! Follow us on Facebook!

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