Rob Pelinka makes a subtle reference to Taylor Swift while praising Austin Reaves’ ‘Mamba gene’

During Thursday’s inaugural press conference for the 2023-24 NBA season, Los Angeles Lakers general manager Rоb Pelinka and head coach Darvin Ham slipped in a Taylor Swift joke while praising Austin Reaves’ “Mamba gene.” Pelinka is a former agent who most notably represented Kobe Bryant.

Pelinka, 53, made sure to clarify that no one can ever live up to Bryant’s legacy, but he did sаy that some players have the “Mamba gene” that Bryant passed on to the NBA.

As for [Reaves], I believe his fundamental characteristics are consistent with the principles of the ‘Mamba gene.’ Pelinka remarked, “I think players today can carry genes of what Kobe Bryant represented because we all got to witness Kobe’s career and what he stood for.” Moreover, I believe Austin does. He doesn’t put up with bullsҺit very well. When he enters the gym, he immediately gets to work. He doesn’t sugarcoat things for his teammates; he just wants to win. He doesn’t let the compliments make him cocky. He ignores criticism and doesn’t feel bad about himself.

It was clear to us from talking to him and observing him play in college that he is all about the grinԀ. Even though he wasn’t guaranteed a position on the team’s roster coming into training camp, he nevertheless went about his business and made sure everyone knew he belonged there. And his development alone has proven to us that he works hard. He’s not concerned with media speculation about his romantic life. , for that matter. That’s why we’re so happy he picked us for the summer; he’s all about the business and all about the game, and that’s why we love him.

Reaves, the young Lakers guard, was romantically linked to Swift during the offseason, and Pelinka’s chuckle after noting that Reaves doesn’t get “caught up in media rumors about who he’s dating” is a clear allusion to this.

In an earlier episode of the Full Send Podcast, Reaves, now 25, confirmed that the claims that he was dating Swift were completely baseless.

At Arrowhead Stadium, Swift, 33, was spotted by the world’s press cheering for NFL player Travis Kelce as he scored a touchdown for the Kansas City Chiefs versus the Chicago Bears, making her the topic of the sports world.

Making a joke about Reaves not caring about relationship rumors shows that Pelinka is current on sports news, as does the fact that he made the joke.

For the third season in a row, the Lakers have brought in undrafted standout Reaves to start alongside D’Angelo Russell, LeBron James, and Anthony Davis.