Alex Caruso might have left the Los Angeles Lakers in the summer, but has shown he will stay connected with the franchise for life.
Caruso quickly became a fans’ favorite in Los Angeles, starting at the South Bay Lakers in the G League and gradually climbing up the team’s hierarchy.
Eventually, the Texas A&M alum grew into an irreplaceable part of the 2019-20 title-winning Lakers, earning a reputation as one of the best perimeter defenders in the NBA.
Despite failing to agree on a new deal with L.A. in the offseason, Caruso has reiterated he doesn’t hold a grudge against the organization.
He has even come the Lakers’ defense, saying they have what it takes to turn things around after a disappointing start to the 2021-22 season, via FOX Sports writer Melissa Rohlin:
“If I know anything about playing here for the last couple of years, it’s that Frank is going to tirelessly work to figure it out,” he said. “And they’ve got some of the best minds with LeBron and [Rajon] Rondo and their coaching staff. They’re going to do just fine down the road.”
Back with the Lakers, Caruso thrived alongside LeBron James. The pair continuously registered the highest plus-minus rating in the NBA when on the floor together, proving the uniqueness of their chemistry.
When Caruso returned to Staples Center with his Chicago Bulls earlier this week — and beat the Lakers 121-103 — he and James hugged exchanged a brotherly pat on the back. The guard said he remembers the moment with great fondness:
“When you’re chasing a championship together, there’s a special bond that you create going through adversity, finding your way together,” he said. “Just the admiration I have for him as a player, as a person, for him to show me that love just doubles down on the relationship we have.”
Caruso and the Bulls have been one of the strongest NBA teams in the first month of the season, ranking third in the Eastern Conference with a 10-5 record.
Anthony Davis pays honor to Caruso for role in 2019-20 title
Former Lakers teammates joined James in welcoming Caruso back in Los Angeles on Monday. Asked about the guard’s comeback, Anthony Davis highlighted his contribution to L.A.’s championship run in 2020.
“I don’t know him. I don’t know that guy (laughs)…” Davis first said.
“It’s going to be fun playing against AC again,” he continued. “All the stuff he brought to our team to win a championship and to our team last year. He was a big part of what we did here.”
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