Lakers News: Nuggets’ Kentavious Caldwell-Pope Shares Excitement About Playing Former Team For Spot In NBA Finals
Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Former Los Angeles Lakers and current Denver Nuggets guard Kentavious Caldwell-Pope enjoyed some of his best years as a professional in the purple and gold.

He averaged double-digit points his first two years in L.A., even playing in a career-high 82 games in the 2018-19 season. Though his role diminished during the 2019-20 regular season, he was a massive part of the Lakers’ run to the title in the bubble.

Against his current team in the 2020 playoffs, Caldwell-Pope had double-digit points in every game except Game 5. He also scored in double digits in five of six games in the 2020 NBA Finals, averaging 11 points a game on 37% shooting from deep in the entire playoffs.

Now, in search of his second NBA Championship, Caldwell-Pope has to go through his former team, a moment he reflected on with Brad Turner of the L.A. Times:

“That’s crazy, right?” he said after practice Monday on the eve of Game 1 of the Western Conference finals between the Lakers and Nuggets at Ball Arena. “We just talked about it yesterday and had a laugh about it. The crazy thing about it is that the same four teams that were in the bubble in the conference finals are back in the conference finals again. We had a good laugh about it.”

Even though it’s been two years since he played his last game with the Lakers, Caldwell-Pope has spoken fondly of his time in Los Angeles. After being included in the deal to acquire Russell Westbrook in 2021, Caldwell-Pope said there were no hard feelings toward the franchise and that his first game in L.A. was going to mean a lot.

He’s still represented by Klutch Sports, which has a handful of clients on the Lakers including LeBron James and Anthony Davis. As a result, he’s still kept a close eye on the team. Earlier this season, Caldwell-Pope said he didn’t see that same spark in LeBron as the Lakers stumbled out of the gates.

Whether or not James remembers those words from his former teammate doesn’t matter. Caldwell-Pope is excited to face his former team in the playoffs:

“This series is going to be fun,” Caldwell-Pope said. “We have to go through them guys to get to the championship.”

It will surely bring back memories for Lakers fans who witnessed the growth of Caldwell-Pope through four years with the Lakers.

Lakers-Warriors was most-watched NBA Conference Semifinals in 27 years

The playoff matchup between LeBron James and Stephen Curry promised to dominate headlines once it became clear the two players would face off. Two days after the series ended, the NBA all but confirmed those details, sharing that the series was the most-watched NBA Conference Semifinals in 27 years. The series averaged 7.8 million viewers across ABC, ESPN and TNT.

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