Caruso has an unassuming look, but has proven to be a walking highlight reel, impressing fans and his teammates with monster dunks and big plays. It has spawned names for the 26-year-old like Bald Eagle, Carushow and LeBron James’ personal favorite — GOAT. At one point, Caruso was even among the top vote-getters for the All-Star game.
But as Caruso pointed out on the The Official Lakers Podcast, it was “borderline annoying” early in the season when he was unable to keep up with the hype machine, feeling like it was taking away from the team’s overall success.
“Yeah for sure. I mean there was moments — not as much in the beginning … And when I say the beginning, I mean the beginning of the season, because that’s when it really picked up and people were trying to label me as that, and like really hyped it up. I was really just excited to finally play and be a part of an NBA roster, and contribute to a team for 82 games. And all that’s going on, and obviously anybody that knows me, y’all know I’m pretty low-key, low-maintenance, like that stuff doesn’t really bother me.
“But yeah, it did get to a point to where I was just sitting back and literally anything I did, somebody would tweet about it, or somebody was reporting on it, and at a certain point I was just like, ‘this is just like borderline annoying.’ It was to the point where it’s like, let’s just focus on basketball, and we’re having so much success on the court that I would love for it to be more about that than me doing a random play in a game.”
Alex Caruso Not Annoyed With Lakers Fans
Knowing how passionate supporters of the purple and gold are, Caruso made sure to note that it wasn’t so much the ruckus from Lakers fans that was irking him.
”It’s more like the outside world. People in L.A., or Lakers fans in general, they’ve seen me grow over the last couple of years, and they’ve kind of gotten accustomed to me doing this. They got little spurts of it here or there when I was on a two-way the first year, and then that one game at the end of the year against the Clippers I played really well, and then last year, kind of same thing.
“I got thrown in, played a little better, little better, and it was a lot of what you said. It was the energy, it was the little things that I do that kind of go unnoticed, and then at the end of the year have a great game, and that’s when everybody outside of Lakers fans started to notice. It was like ‘oh wow, this guy can do some things, but West Coast games, late night, people they don’t see our actual games, they just see what people put out on social media. The clips, the highlights or whatever. Or the tweet about this random white guy that’s very unassuming looking that plays for the Lakers that they all think it’s just hype, or it’s just because he plays in L.A. with LeBron. … It’s not Lakers fans. It’s mainly like outside of the realm of Laker Nation.”
LeBron James: Time to Unleash Alex Caruso
Caruso is dealing with a hamstring injury that has kept him out the last two games, but had seen an uptick in minutes previously, even drawing a start — his first of the season.
He provided one of his signature highlights against the Pelicans, going between the legs on a pass to LeBron James who went up for a big dunk.
“Listen, myself and AC, we work well together, so for AC to be able to have eyes in the back of his head, and for me to able to finish it, it was a good play for our ball club — a moment play. Fans loved it, and it was great to be part of it,” James said. “It’s a great combination for our ball club.”