Having made the NBA after extended spells in the G-League, Alex Caruso knows exactly what he’s talking about in terms of taking the next step.
After going undrafted in the 2016 NBA Draft, Caruso spent time with the Thunder’s G-League affiliate OKC Blues. He was then snapped up by the Lakers, who sent him back to the G-League with the South Bay Lakers.
In the limited game time Caruso got in the season prior to the LeBron signing, he impressed Magic Johnson with his athleticism. They kept him on the roster, and Caruso became a valuable rotation piece in his second season with the franchise.
Alex Caruso explains why most G-League players don’t make it in the NBA
Caruso was a guest on JJ Redick’s popular ‘The Old Man and the Three’ podcast last week. He talked about his journey from G-League player to NBA champion with the Lakers vividly.
According to Caruso, most G-League players can’t adapt to playing more off-ball. They also lack the requisite know-how and attitude to play defense with the energy and awareness required in the league:
“A big reason guys get stuck in the G-League is because they don’t realize the position they’re trying out for. It’s like going to a job interview thinking you’re going to be the CFO of the company and they’re looking for someone to clean the bathrooms.”
Alex Caruso on @OldManAndThree talking about a big reason guys get stuck in the G-League is not understanding their role;
“It’s like going to a job interview, and you’re thinking you’re going to be the CFO of a company, and they are looking for a guy to clean the bathrooms.” pic.twitter.com/CbqUm81G6J
— Hoop Central (@TheHoopCentral) November 10, 2020
Caruso’s defensive energy was a huge positive for the Lakers all season long. Many thought the minutes going to Rondo should be his. While Rondo proved his worth in the bubble, Caruso was nearly as instrumental in the Lakers’ championship run.