Going into training camp, there is a healthy amount of excitement among Lakers fans about the team’s new superstar pairing of Anthony Davis and LeBron James, and with good reason. However, for reasons unknown, some fans are equally excited to see Alex Caruso suit up in the purple and gold again.
Caruso re-signed with the Lakers on a $5.5 million contract this summer following a strong 15-game stretch from the 25-year-old at the end of last season. In those 15 games, Caruso averaged a respectable 13.1 points per game on 42.2 percent shooting from the field, including 47.7 percent from 3-point range, to go along with 3.9 assists, 4.6 rebounds and 1.5 steals per game.
He also did this:
And nearly did this to the league’s reigning Defensive Player of the Year:
Since then, he’s been a fan favorite among Lakers fans, and at his Media Day press conference on Friday, he expressed his gratitude toward the fanbase for rooting for him over the last two years.
“It’s always great. I appreciate Lakers fans so much for riding with me through the last two years and hopefully into the future. I don’t know why they chose me. I wish I had an easy answer, but the thing I like to tell people is that Lakers fans are like the seldom, few sports fanbases that actually understand the game they’re rooting for. They’re knowledgeable about the game of basketball, so I think they appreciate the intensity I play with and how I play the game,” Caruso said.
“And I think from there they just chose me as the token meme guy and video guy. I’m not really sure why. Maybe we can get a poll out there, consensus to figure out why they chose me, but I enjoy it. There’s no such thing as bad publicity and it’s always better to have them rooting for you and not against you.”
It’s true that Lakers fans appreciate Caruso’s effort. That same effort made Larry Nance Jr. a fan favorite during his time in Los Angeles. However, Nance also built his fanbase by mercilessly ending people’s careers at the rim. Caruso has done the same, all while looking like a cool stepdad that likes to go fishing on his boat on the weekends.
Does it make a whole lot of sense? No, but Lakers fans are smart, so there must be some divine logic behind it.