Although Team USA did not medal in the FIBA World Cup this summer, it was an opportunity for several young American players to showcase their game in a different environment. A skillset in the NBA doesn’t always transfer cleanly to FIBA basketball, but Austin Reaves proved his game is just as valuable abroad as it is in the NBA.
Reaves was not considered to be a major rotation player entering the World Cup, but his size and playmaking were a perfect fit next to Anthony Edwards. Those traits also made Reaves a fit for Steve Kerr’s motion based offense. Reaves had the opportunity to play for Kerr in the World Cup just a few months after the Lakers eliminated the Warriors from the playoffs. After a recent Lakers practice, Reeves told reporters that the Lakers “freeze” celebration was still a sore spot for Kerr.
Steve Kerr outlawed the Lakers’ “freeze” celebration for Austin Reaves when he played for Team USA this summer, coming off L.A.’s playoff win over Kerr’s Warriors pic.twitter.com/LWaWSwFciG
— Dave McMenamin (@mcten) October 13, 2023
Reeves isn’t the only player Kerr has coached who does the freeze celebration. Kerr previously coached D’Angelo Russell, who originated the celebration on the Lakers 2015 summer league team. Maybe Kerr saw that celebration too many times in the playoffs or maybe he saw Russell do it too often for a disappointing Warriors team.
Either way, he won’t be able to ban the Freeze when the Warriors play the Lakers this season, so hopefully he enjoyed his reprieve,