The NBA has a long history of nicknames for its players, and it’s not just limited to the stars either. Fans love giving nicknames to players based on characteristics, related to their play as well as their appearance and where they’re from. His Airness for Michael Jordan, The Iceman for George Gervin, Big Aristotle for Shaquille O’Neal, there are endless brilliant nicknames that players have had since the NBA became popular.
Even in the modern era, there is LeBron James, The King, Chef Curry, and The Slim Reaper, Kevin Durant. Some players embrace their nicknames, while others don’t quite enjoy them. And young Lakers’ role player Austin Reaves seemingly isn’t quite fond of his nicknames either.
Reaves is referred to as ‘AR-15’ by some, and ‘Hillbilly Kobe’ by others, and it’s easy to see why he may not be too happy about them. However, Draymond Green recently spoke about Reaves not accepting those nicknames of his show with Kyle Kuzma, suggesting that the young Lakers star hasn’t done enough in his career to reject the nicknames.
“I saw Austin Reaves who’s on the Lakers come out the other day that he’s trying to shed two nicknames. And it’s like, brother you have not done enough in your career to be trying to shed nicknames that people gave you. I was really blown away when he said that. Brother, you should take those nicknames and try to run with them.”
The AR-15 name is incredibly understandable in terms of trying to get rid of it, the gun violence in the United States is a huge problem for the country. The best way for Reaves to move on from them though, is to take another leap and become a good enough player that he can command the respect to switch up his nickname.