The Los Angeles Lakers are preparing to face the Chicago Bulls on Monday night at Staples Center. While this should be an exciting game given the Bulls’ early-season success, it could be an emotional one for fans and players as Alex Caruso returns to L.A. for the first time since leaving the Lakers in free agency.
Anthony Davis knows first-hand just how emotional these reunions can be. Not only did he feel this when he played against the New Orleans Pelicans in New Orleans for the first time, but as a Chicago native, he feels it when he plays the Bulls as well.
Davis spoke about Caruso’s return, praising him for his work with the Lakers and discussing how the night might look for the scrappy guard. “I don’t know him. I don’t know that guy (laughs)… It’s going to be fun playing against AC again. 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.
“It’ll probably be a bit more emotional for him than me,” Davis said of Caruso. “Just because he’s back here in L.A. It’s usually more emotional when I’m back in Chicago, but any time I get to play the Bulls, it’s always fun to go against your hometown team. But it’s going to be fun and exciting to play against AC and try to get that win against him.”
The former Lakers and current Bulls guard also spoke about the return, saying that he remains very fond of L.A. and the Lakers organization, according to Mark Medina of NBA.com:
Alex Caruso on facing the Lakers for the first time since signing with the Bulls as a free agent pic.twitter.com/PTCyPtCNkG
— Mark Medina (@MarkG_Medina) November 15, 2021
Caruso’s return to L.A. will likely come with an emotional tribute video, as well as tons of cheers when he checks into the game for the first time. His return is even fresher in the minds of fans given all of the talk surrounding his free agency that has come out in recent days.
By all accounts, Caruso gave the Lakers multiple opportunities to give him a reasonable contract offer, even going lower than the amount the Bulls offered him. However, the Lakers said no each and every time, citing a franchise-high luxury tax bill.
On Monday night, the Lakers are hopeful to beat the red-hot Bulls. But Caruso’s reunion will be one of the major storylines inside Staples Center.
Talen Horton-Tucker discusses season debut
One of the main reasons the Lakers let Caruso walk is that they felt Talen Horton-Tucker could reasonably make up for his level of play while being many years younger. Horton-Tucker got his first chance to prove that on Sunday in his season debut. He discussed his first game, a Lakers win over the San Antonio Spurs. “After tonight, I feel like I could’ve been a little bit better, but I had some good moments, and I’m just happy to be back. That’s something I had to do this year, really trying to lock into.
“Being able to play here at STAPLES. It’s a real feeling. Just being able to be with my teammates again. I always tell everybody, like just with the group we have, actually being able to get out there and play with them is a blessing for me, so I’m just appreciative of it.”
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