Team USA Head Coach Steve Kerr Can’t Get Enough Of Austin Reaves

Team USA are only a couple of days into practice and Steve Kerr has been gushing about newcomer Austin Reaves.

Reaves has had an amazing journey since going undrafted, being picked up by the Lakers and having a breakout season in 2022-23.

He has now become arguably the Lakers’ third best player behind LeBron James and Anthony Davis.

LA sent Kerr’s Warriors packing in last season’s playoffs, so Kerr says he’s glad to have Reaves as an attacking weapon on the USA side set to compete in this month’s FIBA World Cup.

“Mainly, it’s just better to have him on your team than to have him on the other team,” Kerr said. “That’s what I would say about Austin. One of the fun things with this endeavor is that you really get to know guys who you’ve competed against and admired, but then you really get to know their games.

“He fits in wherever we put him; that’s the beauty of Austin. He’s a connector. He’s a hell of a basketball player. He’s physical, shoots and passes it. Just so poised out there all the time. He’s a guy who enhances any lineup that he plays with.”

Kerr expanded on his explanation about what makes Reaves a connector, which will stand him in good stead for the upcoming tournament.

“Just feel, vision, awareness, and understanding of the game,” Kerr said. “The ball just goes to the right spot, the right cut is made. Austin made a play yesterday where he made a drive and kick; he was kind of behind the defense, and he worked completely behind the defense, flashed kind of in the middle of the paint, caught it and swung it through. He had feel; you have to have awareness to make a play like that. So connectors are guys who make those types of plays, and the game just makes sense, and you end up getting open shots.”

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The FIBA Basketball World Cup will begin on August 25 and will take place in Indonesia, Japan and the Philippines.

Check out who USA are playing in the group stage below.

USA Group Play Schedule

Aug 26: United States vs. New Zealand (8:40 a.m. ET)

Aug 28: Greece vs. United States (8:40 a.m. ET)

Aug 30: United States vs. Jordan (4:40 a.m. ET)

READ MORE: Canada More Motivated Than Ever for Success at FIBA World Cup