Nobody really knows how Lakers guard Alex Caruso became such a fan-favorite in Los Angeles. As the face of memes and the talk of conversation, Caruso is beloved by Lakers fans all around the world. In fact, he ranked 6th among Western Conference guards in All-Star fan votes, earning more than 528,000 votes.
Apparently, the love doesn't stop at the locker-room. He is valued by his teammates too -- including LeBron James, who literally calls him the "GOAT" every time he sees him.
“Every time he’s in the game, he’s a plus guy,” James said, via the New York Times. “He can do so much. He can defend at a high level. He’s smart. He’s very tough. To have him on this ball club is a luxury.”
Caruso obviously appreciates the love from his team and the fans, but he's not going to let it get to his head.
“It’s cool,” Caruso said, via The Oklahoman. “I obviously don’t want to take any attention away from guys who have been playing great this year, but it’s nice to know that the fans appreciate me. Mutual respect.”
“I think I’m just comfortable in my own skin, man,” Caruso said, via the New York Times. “I know who I am. I know what I do. And at the end of the day, it’s basketball.
“People like to put a lot of hype around it, but for me, at the end of the day, I think it’s just my job to go out there and play. Whenever I don’t think and I just play, I play my best. It’s gotten me this far, and I think it’s going to carry me further.”
Indeed, James' words ring with truth. While Alex may not be close to star-level, his play is highly valued by the team and always helps them win. His unselfish, team-first mentality is no doubt part of the reason why.
In a season where so many things are going right for the Lakers, Caruso is just another reason to believe in what they've been doing this season. The fans, the media, and even LeBron James himself are taking notice.