LeBron James issued a strong statement on Austin Reaves after the Los Angeles Lakers defeated the Chicago Bulls on March 29 at the United Center.
James said Reaves “always got my back.” The King was referring to the Arkansas product doing the “too small” celebration toward Bulls guard Patrick Beverley, who hit James with the “too small” gesture on March 26 in Los Angeles.
“AR always got my back,” James said. “Always. Even though he loved Kobe (Bryant) back in the day more than me (laughs). I forgive him.”
The Lakers traded Beverley to the Orlando Magic at the trade deadline. Beverley got bought out by the Magic and signed with his hometown Bulls. The Chicago native has taken several shots at the Lakers since getting traded. He also helped the Bulls beat the LakeShow on March 26.
However, Beverley was terrible on March 29. He had zero points while shooting 0-of-5 from the field.
The Lakers’ Big 3 Were Too Much for the Bulls
The Lakers’ Big 3 of James, Anthony Davis and D’Angelo Russell were too much for the Bulls. Davis put up 38 points and 10 rebounds, James finished with 25 points, seven rebounds and four assists and Russell registered 17 points and four assists.
Along with humiliating Beverley, Reaves scored 19 points while missing only one shot. As expected, Reaves was asked about his “too small” motion toward Beverley during his postgame press conference with reporters.
“I mean, he did it last time we played to Bron,” Reaves said. “It wasn’t something I thought about doing all game, but I felt like right time, right situation.”
The Lakers improved to 38-38 after taking down the Bulls. Los Angeles is a perfect 3-0 when James, Davis, Russell and Reaves are in the lineup. The purple and gold have seven games left in the regular season, starting on March 31 versus the Minnesota Timberwolves at the Target Center.
Anthony Davis Sounds Off on Patrick Beverley
Davis, who is a Chicago product like Beverley, talked about Beverley after the Lakers beat the Bulls. AD and his teammates “made sure” Beverley didn’t talk “tonight.”
“The crowd was into it too. Having Pat Bev on here was obviously awesome,” Davis said. “That’s what he do. He was talking Sunday and we came out and made sure that he don’t talk tonight.”
Reaves told Dave McMenamin of ESPN on March 24 that Davis has “been a f***ing monster” this season. Davis, who is an eight-time All-Star and one of the best players in NBA history, has sometimes gotten ripped by Lakers fans due to his inability to stay healthy.
“He’s been a f***ing monster,” Reaves said about Davis. “I don’t think he gets the credit he deserves as a basketball player. I think people see the games missed and knock him for that. Obviously, availability is a big thing, but like, as a basketball player, I feel like there’s not many people his height with the skill set that he has.”
Davis signed a five-year, $190 million contract with the Lakers in December 2020. The deal includes an early termination option in 2024 and will be fully up in 2025. Davis has the same agent (Rich Paul of Klutch Sports Group) as James.