Austin Reaves and Team USA were handed their first loss of the 2023 FIBA World Cup this week at the hands of Lithuania.
While many on the American side failed to perform to expectations in the 110-104 defeat, Reaves had a particularly brutal game.
Not only did he fail to play well offensively, recording seven points on 1-of-4 shooting in 13 minutes of action, but he was a huge liability defensively. The opposing side was targeting him so much that Team USA head coach Steve Kerr had to remove him from the game.
Reaves also found himself the subject of open ridicule at the hands of Lithuanian players.
View this post on Instagram
In the aftermath, Reaves was asked about his thoughts on the disrespect he got from the Lithuanian side.
How does Austin Reaves feel about this the morning after? Here’s what he told me moments before practice:
“There’s been many times in my career where people looked at me sideways or done stuff so it’s basketball and at the end of the day, it doesn’t matter.” https://t.co/k0bAyegwH5 pic.twitter.com/QcTJu9sve8
— Nicole Ganglani (@nicoleganglani) September 4, 2023
“There’s been many times in my career where people looked at me sideways or done stuff so it’s basketball and at the end of the day, it doesn’t matter,” he said.
What’s interesting about the whole thing is that the player who most taunted Reaves, Vaidas Kariniauskas, offered a surprising rationale for his actions following the game.
— BasketNews (@BasketNews_com) September 3, 2023
“I played with his brother [Spencer] last year,” he said. “I talked with [Spencer] before the game, and he said, ‘Give [Austin] a trash talk.’ So I gave him that.”
This most recent game aside, Reaves has had a charmed summer. He has been partying it up with his girl. He got a four-year, $54 million contract from the Los Angeles Lakers.
What a week for Florida State already. https://t.co/anTLn5wJiT
— Game 7 (@game7__) September 4, 2023
Life, for the most part, has been good to him.
In that respect, while the Lithuania game may have been a bit uncomfortable, it’s not the end of the world.
How will Reaves ultimately bounce back from his disappointing last time? Time will tell.