The begining of the Los Angeles Lakers‘ season was bumpy for Kentavious Caldwell-Pope.
Through the first 11 games of the season, KCP shot a combined 24-of-67 from the field overall and 5-of-22 on 3-pointers.
Lakers’ fans grew understandably impatient.
But guess what? KCP remained patient and he turned it around!
Currently averaging 9.7 points and 2.2 rebounds, he’s found his rhythm. KCP had an impressive stretch through late-December in which he scored in double figures in five consecutive games. Last month, the Georgia native tallied 18 points (7-12 FG, 2-6 3Pt, 2-2 FT), three assists, one rebound and one steal in 34 minutes in LA’s 111-104 loss to the Milwaukee Bucks. Last week against the Brooklyn Nets he netted 11 points in 28 minutes and against the New York Knicks he posted 13 points in 26 minutes.
“Obviously he started out with a [few] struggles – it happens every season as a shooter, as a player” Lakers sharpshooter, Danny Green told me last month.
“But he’s been amazing for us.”
I caught up with Kentavious Caldwell Pope on Saturday evening and we discussed team chemistry, his shooting, LeBron James and more.
Check out our Q&A below:
Brandon ‘Scoop’ Robinson: Team Chemistry. I talked to Danny Green about a month ago and he said chemistry was one of your strongest suits within the confines of the Lakers this season. How important is chemistry for you?
Kentavious Caldwell-Pope: It’s real big. Being able to know my teammates go-to’s, their strong points and finding out what their weaknesses are, being able to just play with them on the court, that chemistry is just good, just having those type of relationships and I believe that it helps on the court and off the court as far as being social with each other and being around each other.
Brandon ‘Scoop B’ Robnson: I’ve been telling folks on Lakers twitter to be patient with you. If you could maybe think of two things that come to mind that kept you focused early in the season as you were going through your shooting slump. What were they?
Kentavious Caldwell-Pope: Just me getting back to the game I love, I thought about that a lot. At first, knowing the love for the game wasn’t there, I had to dig deep and find the love for the game and I did just being around my family, a lot of support, they helped me get through everything pretty much…
Brandon ‘Scoop B’ Robinson: LeBron James passed Kobe Bryant on the scoring list and you’re here with a Kobe Bryant shirt on today. Tell me about the shirt, where’d you get it?
Kentavious Caldwell-Pope: My guy who shops for me got it for me. I didn’t know he had 18 points to pass Kobe tonight. I just wore the shirt because I am a Laker fan and as a player. It was just a shirt for me. I thought it was pretty cool. The design, stuff like that, I didn’t see how close he was until tonight when he did, and congrats. It’s always a blessing to be a part of history. Our mindset was just coming in here playing the game and trying to get the win and try to be focused.
Brandon ‘Scoop B’ Robinson: Two part question. What game of Kobe’s do you remember most and what game of LeBron’s do you remember most as a fan of basketball?
Kentavious Caldwell-Pope: As a fan? For Kobe’s I remember the 81 point game, everybody remembers that game. And Bron’s, I just remember watching him through high school, me growing up his first year with the Cavs and then me just being able to play with him, has been great!