The Chicago Bulls know a thing or two about legacy and, apparently, so do their players. Bulls guard Alex Caruso gave a shout-out to a former teammate who was celebrating his legacy showing in a different way.
Caruso has quickly become a fan favorite in Chicago for his scrappy play that embodies the “team-first” mentality.
His style has led to minor injuries over the years; something he is addressing this summer.
But what is not in question is what kind of energy he brings and the kind of teammate that he seems to be.
Caruso Shouts Out LeBron’s Legacy
Before joining the Bulls as a free agent last summer, Caruso spent the first four seasons of his career with the Los Angeles Lakers. He remains a fan favorite among Laker Nation just as he is with Bulls Nation now.
Even more, Caruso was a beloved teammate of LeBron James.
So, when “The King” took to Instagram to marvel at the sight of his two sons – LeBron Jr. and Bryce – sharing the same court, it was fitting to see Caruso pop up in the comments.
The pair won a championship together in 2020 and James was vocal about wanting to see the scrappy guard return in purple and gold.
They shared an embrace when the Bulls and Lakers met last November in a 121-103 Bulls win.
“Anytime you have the best player in the world giving you confidence giving you his backing,” Caruso told Heavy’s Jonathan Adams, “it just helps the game a little bit, gives you a little more confidence going forward,”
He also said that he still stays in touch with James via social media as we see.
Caruso has been open about the Lakers not offering him a contract at all before he accepted the mid-level extension with the Bulls, a virtual steal for what he offers.
Impact on Both Ends
The Bulls went 22-19 without Caruso in the lineup this past season and 24-17 with him. That might not seem like much of a difference. But, in addition to other factors, he also finished with the highest net rating of any of their returning players, per Cleaning The Glass.
And we haven’t seen his best version in a Bulls uniform yet.
Caruso came to the Bulls as a career 37.7% shooter from deep. But he shot just 33.3% from beyond the arc last season. He did shoot over 35.6% on catch-and-shoot triples. Though, he was shooting nearly 42% on those looks before Lonzo Ball suffered a knee injury compared to just 26.2% after he went down.
Aside from his offense, Caruso forms the key to the Bulls’ defensive identity when paired alongside Ball with both players’ defensive rating ranking in the 96th percentile, per Cleaning The Glass.
Caruso’s versatility saw him matched up with Giannis Antetokounmpo during the Bulls playoff series against the Milwaukee Bucks.
Keeping him away from matchups like that would go a long way to keeping him on the floor. But it just goes to show all that Caruso brought to the Bulls in his first season. His season in review shows just how much more he is capable of giving the Bulls this coming season.