A missed flight, a team dismissal, and a damning Sports Illustrated article ago, Reeves Nelson was on a path to the NBA but now, as detailed in a Los Angeles Times piece this week, he is hanging onto the end of the bench on the Los Angeles Lakers Summer League team.
This all comes now that he has returned to the States, having taken time to play professionally in Lithuania where he was released after playing 24 games. For that team, BC Zalgiris, he averaged 4.8 points and 4.2 rebounds.
“I was comfortable and let my pride get in the way of making changes that would’ve allowed me to stay at UCLA,” Nelson told the LA Times. “That was the main lesson. With everything that happened, it was a very humbling experience.”
This time around, he seems to have the PR moves down.
“Obviously, I can say everything I want until I’m blue in the face,” Nelson continued, “but no one is going to believe it until they see it. Actions speak louder than words, so that’s what I’m trying to do.”
The problem is, though, he hasn’t gotten much playing time to show what he can do. He has appeared in three games, with his biggest coming July 19 against the Clippers, when he played 28 minutes and scored seven points.
To his credit, he is reportedly in the best shape of his life, trimming down 15 pounds and checking in with 3% body fat.
Will someone give the former First Team All-Pac 10 player another shot? We’ll have to wait and see.