Los Angeles Lakers general manager Rob Pelinka gave his introductory press conference for the 2023-24 NBA season with head coach Darvin Ham on Friday and the former agent, who primarily represents Kobe Bryant, snuck into a Taylor Swift joke while praising “Mamba” by Austin Reaves gene.”
Pelinka, 53, ensured that no player could compare to the greatness of the late Bryant, but expressed how few men have the “Mamba gene” left behind by the legendary Lakers star.
“I think (Reaves’) core qualities are consistent with the tenants of the ‘Mamba gene.’ We all saw Kobe’s career and what he stood for and no player can compare to Kobe Bryant but I think today’s players can carry the genes of what he represents,” said Pelinka. “And I think Austin. He’s not stupid. He goes to the gym, he’s about the work. He’s honest with his teammates that he’s all about winning. He doesn’t listen to praise to be big-headed. listen to criticisms and humble himself.
“He’s fresh off the job and I think we saw that in how he attacked his college career when we talked to him and scouted him. He’s all about his business and he’s all about showing up. everyone in the team that he belongs to. And we see that in his development that he puts in the work. He is not kidnapped by media rumors about who he is dating. Or anything else. He is about the business and he part of the game and that’s why we love him and that’s why we’re proud that he chose us this summer.”
Pelinka said Reaves doesn’t get “caught up in the media rumors about who he’s dating,” a clear reference to how the young Lakers guard has been dating Swift in the offseason.
Taylor Swift is dating NFL star Travis Kelce
Reaves, 25, previously admitted to the Full Send Podcast that the rumors of him dating Swift are completely false and baseless.
Swift, 33, has been the talk of the sports world since she was seen cheering on NFL star Travis Kelce at Arrowhead Stadium as he scored a touchdown for the Kansas City Chiefs against the Chicago Bears.
Pelinka’s joke about Reaves not being bothered by dating rumors is also a sign that he’s on the latest sports gossip.
Reaves, an undrafted talent, is heading into his third year with the Lakers and could be a starter alongside D’Angelo Russell, LeBron James and Anthony Davis.