Austin Reaves Steve Kerr Team USA
United States players, including Austin Reaves, gather on the court after their loss to Germany in a Basketball World Cup semi final game in Manila, Philippines, Friday, Sept. 8, 2023. (AP Photo/Aaron Favila)

Los Angeles Lakers’ newfound star, Austin Reaves, had been a nightmare for the Golden State Warriors since the last postseason. He helped his team beat the Warriors in the second round of the 2022-23 season. It was for the first time in a long time that the Warriors faced elimination in the second round of the playoffs.

Steve Kerr’s side was on their way to defend the title and win it for the fifth time in nine years. However, team Lakers came from nowhere to make the postseason in the first place. Nobody really thought they could eliminate the then-defending champions. Albeit, the Lakers did eliminate the Warriors and crushed their dreams. But again, Reaves and Golden State’s Kerr came together as player and coach, respectively, for Team USA in the last FIBA World Cup. Perhaps not everything was alright between the coach and the player. What happened there? Keep reading to find out.


Why Did Kerr Stop Austin Reaves From Doing The “Freeze” Celebration?

Austin Reaves Freeze Celebration Lakers
Austin Reaves Freeze Celebration Lakers Source: Lakers Daily

Apparently, Austin Reaves recalled Kerr saying at one of the FIBA games, “Don’t do that Freeze celebration. I’m sick of it.” However, he did celebrate in the freeze style during a game against Team Italy. Later, the fans on social media criticized the coach, claiming him to be a hater and also a schmuck. It does not stop there. There are more comments suggesting Steve Kerr let Reaves sit out a crunch situation because of his personal vendetta. All this led to Team USA finishing fourth and missing out on winning a medal in the World Cup. Some even called Steve Kerr “Overrated.”

However, Austin Reaves was respectful toward Steve Kerr, calling him a great basketball mind and that he loved learning about the game under him. Apparently, they discussed certain things about the semifinal matchup between the Warriors and the Lakers last postseason. Reaves mentioned Kerr told him what he thought the Lakers did right in the series and also what they did not do right in the series. In reply, he jokingly told Kerr, “Steve, we did win a couple of games in that series.” 

Dennis Schroder Came Up With The Freeze Celebration

Dennis Schroder Lakers Freeze Celebration
Dennis Schroder Lakers Freeze Celebration Source: Larry Brown Sports

Apparently, Austin Reaves became very popular in the second-round series against the Warriors as he did a Steph Curry, shooting from halfway right before the buzzer for halftime. Hence, it is understandable if Steve Kerr is not totally over the moon about Austin Reaves. Recently, Reaves shared a story about Kerr during the preseason game between the Lakers and the Warriors. Austin Reaves said while he was on Team USA, Steve Kerr stopped him from celebrating in his unique “Freeze” style.

Steve Kerr’s Team USA could not even win a single medal in the last FIBA World Cup. But people called Reaves the best player on the roster of Team USA. However, AR’s shocking revelation about Steve Kerr not letting him do the “Freeze” Celebration annoyed the fans on social media. Dennis Schroder last season popularized the unique celebration as he wore purple and gold. Schroder went on to win the MVP of the World Cup, leading Team Germany to win their maiden World Cup. On the other hand, Steve Kerr failed as the coach of Team USA as they finished fourth.