Alex Caruso has long been a Los Angeles Lakers fan-favorite, and the guard’s rise to stardom has only accelerated since helping the team win the 2020 NBA title.
Earlier this season, LeBron James said the Texas A&M alum — already considered one of the NBA’s best perimeter defenders — played “championship basketball” and praised his versatility and high basketball IQ.
Caruso then raked in more than 370,000 votes in the 2021 All-Star Game ballot, securing the eighth spot among guards in the Western Conference. And now, according to ESPN’s Nick DePaula, Caruso has been rewarded for his hustle by signing a multi-year sneaker contract with ANTA:
BREAKING: Alex Caruso has agreed to a multi-year sneaker deal with ANTA.
— Nick DePaula (@NickDePaula) February 19, 2021
Caruso joins the likes of Klay Thompson, Kevin Garnett, and eight-division boxing champion Manny Pacquiao among ANTA’s brand ambassadors. Having his name mentioned among such well-renowned athletes confirms the rising profile of the guard, who went undrafted in the 2016 NBA Draft.
Interestingly, ANTA joined in the boycott of the NBA following former Houston Rockets general manager Daryl Morey’s tweet in support of Hong Kong protestors that badly hurt the league’s relationship with China in 2019.
The controversy unfolded around the time of the preseason games between the Lakers and Nets that left L.A. stranded in a Shanghai hotel amid several cancelations of media appearances and events in the aftermath of the row.
Vogel: Caruso among Lakers’ best players
Caruso demonstrated his value last season when he emerged as one of the pillars of the Lakers team heading for the franchise’s 17th NBA title. And as the guard’s development continues, head coach Frank Vogel acknowledged his importance to L.A. and impact on both ends of the floor.
“He’s certainly one of our best players,” he said earlier this month. “He typically moves the needle in a positive direction, and you see that with the plus-minus not just in these two games but throughout all of last year.”
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