One of the more interesting and enjoyable storylines from the 2019-20 Los Angeles Lakers season has been Alex Caruso‘s growth into a bonafide NBA rotation player.
He’s maintained his fan-favorite status, but is backing it up with legitimate defense and highlight-reel dunks. However, this led to something quite unbelievable when it came time for fans to vote for the 2020 NBA All-Star Game.
Caruso, who comes off the bench for the Lakers and plays about 19 minutes a game, found himself as high as fourth among Western Conference guards in fan voting. That means that he was two spots away from having a chance at starting in the game despite the fact that he doesn’t even start for his own team. He won’t start as fan voting makes up just half of the final tally, but it was a highly talked about story.
Now that voting is closed and starters officially being revealed on Jan. 23, Caruso is excited to put this saga behind him and simply focus on the regular games ahead of him, according to Kyle Goon of Orange County Register:
“Obviously I enjoy it. I love fans, and the fact that I have fans is an amazing thing in general,” he said. “But yeah, kind of ready for it to move along, give the guys who deserve it their attention and getting back to regular games.”
Caruso says that he appreciates the love he got from fans, but he would rather see players who ‘deserve it’ get the chance to start in Chicago:
“There are people who are very deserving who have had great years,” he said. “Fans do what fans do. Especially in the era of social media that we live in, once something catches fire, it just spreads. Like I said, I appreciate all the love. But the guys who deserve it, deserve it.”
Caruso has remained very poised and humble throughout this process and although he’s not an NBA All-Star Game starter, he has been an extremely valuable piece of the team’s success this season.
Caruso will also continue being a fan favorite and as long as he stays a Laker, he’ll find himself near the top of fan voting more than just this season. He’ll still also get the attention that comes when LeBron James has the nickname “GOAT” for him, which is just another side effect of being a fan favorite and a good role player.