For 184 games, Alex Caruso was a beloved member of the Los Angeles Lakers, serving as their energetic and high-effort backup point guard.
As much as the fans, and even Caruso himself, wanted to see him don the Purple and Gold for his entire career, he left this past summer in pursuit of a pay-day he felt was more appropriate for what he provides on the court.
Still, he looks back fondly on his time as a Laker. Not only was he a fan favorite amongst the community, but he also achieved great success, becoming a Champion in 2020.
According to him, the Lakers would have advanced further in the playoffs last season, too, had Anthony Davis been healthy.
Caruso still looks back on last season as a missed opportunity after the Lakers blew a 2-1 lead in the first round against Phoenix when Davis went down with a groin injury.
“If A.D. is healthy, I think we beat Phoenix in the first round,” Caruso said.
The Lakers were considered the favorites by many to win the title, but that was before they suffered a brutal first-round defeat against Phoenix.
“It’s just the luck of the NBA,” Caruso said. “Like the COVID year we went to the bubble, we had really good luck and we had all our guys healthy. We fought through all the craziness that happened with that whole summer. And then the next year we didn’t. We got unlucky.
We couldn’t get healthy and part of that was the quick turnaround (from the bubble), too,” Caruso said. “Like, I don’t think AD ever really got back to full strength after the Finals run. I don’t even know if ‘Bron did. He did a better job of hiding it.”
Caruso, 27, is in his fifth year in the league and is currently proving his worth as a member of the Chicago Bulls, with career-high marks across the board.
As for the Lakers, they're still not quite healthy, but the NBA should beware the moment when that finally changes.