Results for the second round of the NBA All-Star voting were released last week. If you had to guess who the sixth-highest vote-getter in the Western Conference was among guards — would you guess Los Angeles Lakers guard Alex Caruso?
“The Bald Eagle”, “White Mamba”, “Carushow”, “The GOAT” — whatever you want to call him, you can't deny that the Lakers point guard has become a bit of a cultural phenomenon within basketball circles.
Caruso's popularity in the league has allowed him to get more All-Star votes than big names such as Ben Simmons, Devin Booker, Donovan Mitchell and Andre Drummond.
And while Caruso isn't an actual star player or even a starter on the Lakers, according to Lakers head coach Frank Vogel, Caruso's impact cannot be overstated.
“He’s just an invaluable piece of our success,” Vogel said via Marc Stein of The New York Times.
Undrafted out of Texas A&M, Caruso has spent all three seasons of his career as a member of the Lakers. This season, the 6-foot-5 guard has put up per-game averages of 5.9 points, 2.0 rebounds, 1.8 assists and 1.0 steals per game.
While his production is down from last year, the 25-year-old has played in 37 of the Lakers 40 games this season and along with being an obvious favorite, is actually helping the team win.
Caruso has shown excellent defensive instincts, hustle, solid shooting, playmaking and sometimes a surprising burst of athleticism. At 33-7, the Lakers have the best record in the Western Conference and the second-best record in the league behind the Milwaukee Bucks.
Caruso may not be a star player, but he has received rave reviews from teammates and coaches and is one of the most popular figures in the NBA.