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I was wrong about Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, and I’m sorry

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Kentavious Caldwell-Pope was the subject of many a joke over the last couple years. He’s serving up some crow now.

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Los Angeles Lakers v Portland Trail Blazers Photo by Cameron Browne/NBAE via Getty Images

Dear Mister Kentavious Caldwell-Pope,

My name is Anthony Irwin, and I am writing to say that I’m sorry.

At some point or another, I may have possibly hinted that you play like Jeffrey Jordan when games matter but turn into Michael Jordan during garbage time. This year, you’ve hit some of the season’s biggest shots and I find myself absolutely comfortable seeing the ball swing over to you wide open in the corner.

There was a time where I wondered if — even given how great LeBron James is — whether your presence on the roster was too high a tax for also having James.

Okay, maybe things never got that far, but still, things got real dark last year when you, James and the Lakers fell short of the playoffs and you’ve cost roughly the GDP of a small country. Now, you’re on an altogether reasonable, two-year deal worth a shade over $8 million, and I’m at the point where I hope you accept your player option next season.

Sure, your name lends itself to all kinds of fun nicknames when you’d struggled (my personal favorite being Lentavious Caldwell-Pope because you always seemed to be giving something up), but no such things can be said about the season you’re having now. I am, indeed, down with KCP.

What a rollercoaster this has been, too. I remember being in Vegas when you signed and jumping with glee at how you would help a team mostly devoid of talent, then grumpily watched on as David Nwaba made fan base after fan base happy following him becoming a cap casualty to net you roughly $600k.

Little did I know that at the very least, your role in helping the Lakers tamper with James develop a relationship with Rich Paul and Klutch Sports would be worth it, and you’d eventually become the team’s third or fourth-best player behind him and Anthony Davis. I mean, you’re shooting 43% from three this season! That’s amazing!

What a world.

And here we are, you turned your season around once you were inserted into the starting lineup, and have kept things going since being moved to the bench. Yes, Dwight Howard has easily been the wildest redemption arc seen in quite some time, but you’ve gone from being booed to me now regularly asking myself when it’s time to bring you back in for Avery Bradley’s incessant brick laying.

So here we are. You’ve had a pretty great season and have made a damn-near inarguable case to be on the court in Klutch moments. Sorry, I couldn’t help that last final jab. Old habits and such.

Please don’t make me look like an idiot for writing this.

Sincerely,

Some Weirdo On The Internet

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