Does NBA Media Avoid Criticizing Austin Reaves? Should Darvin Ham Give Rui Hachimura More Minutes?

Locked On Lakers - Daily Podcast On The Los Angeles Lakers

17-11-2023 • 33 min

The Locked On Lakers YouTube page is a great place to communicate with other Lakers fans and the hosts of the show, and it was the source of today's discussion.

Does the media protect Austin Reaves?

More than a few viewers have noted the difference in how he's treated compared to, say, D'Angelo Russell, believing that Reaves doesn't get enough criticism when he underperforms, whether on this show or across the basketball media landscape more broadly. Is that true? Probably, at least to some degree. But what accounts for it? Certainly the Reaves Story (moppy haired, undrafted, relatively unathletic looking white dude from rural Arkansas ascends RAPIDLY to national team status, Taylor Swift rumors and a new contract) contributes. He's an easy guy to root for. Insanely competitive, works hard, etc. But at the same time, does the story (and his skin color) provide more of a shield than it should?

What about the sense that he's "found money?" That there's still some residual sense that the good stuff can be accentuated while the bad stuff is brushed off, because someone with his background isn't supposed to provide anything positive at all, really.

Meanwhile, Russell, who (as has been noted on this show, repeatedly) has outplayed Reaves significantly this year, gets hammered by fans every time the Lakers lose and/or he turns the ball over.

And what about rotations? Does Darvin Ham give Rui Hachimura the minutes he deserves? What might explain an excess of bench time, even while he tends to perform well?


HOSTS: Andy and Brian Kamenetzky


SEGMENT 1: Does Austin Reaves get enough criticism when he doesn't play well?


SEGMENT 2: Does the media protect Reaves? If so, why?


SEGMENT 3: Should Ham give Hachimura more minutes?


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