The Golden State Warriors' Draymond Green and Washington Wizards' Kyle Kuzma said Los Angeles Lakers guard Austin Reaves should embrace the "Hillbilly Kobe" nickname.
Kuzma said Thursday on The Draymond Green Show he thinks the moniker is "lit" and the four-time NBA champion agreed.
"You better embrace that one," Green said (around the 8:30 mark). "You kidding me? Any Kobe—Hillbilly Kobe? You should be running with that. By the way, if I'm him and they're calling me Hillbilly Kobe, I'm trying to be in the next White Men Can't Jump. I'm trying to really run with that."
The conversation comes after Reaves said in July he'd try to distance himself from two nicknames that emerged last season, with the other being "AR-15."
"I don't condone any gun violence that happens around our country," Reaves told ESPN's Dave McMenamin. "But you can't really control what [nickname] people give you. I mean, I didn't come out and say my name was that. There's been others, like the 'Hillbilly Kobe,' that probably aren't the best thing in the situation that's going on, with Kobe's passing."
The second-year guard added he's "open to new ideas" from Lakers fans.
Reaves, who was assigned No. 15 after wearing No. 12 in college with Wichita State and Oklahoma, was one of the bright spots of an otherwise forgettable 2021-22 season for L.A., which missed the playoffs with a 33-49 record.
The 24-year-old Arkansas native averaged 7.3 points, 3.2 rebounds and 1.8 assists in 61 games while playing some terrific wing defense—he ranked in a tie for 12th among shooting guards in FiveThirtyEight's defensive RAPTOR metric (plus-1.7).
It's unclear whether he's willing to change his stance on Hillbilly Kobe, but he's slated to once again play a key depth role for the Lakers heading into the 2022-23 season.