As if we needed any more reminders about how much of an impact social media has on the world.
Alex Caruso of the LA Lakers is as lowkey of a player as you will find in the NBA. He resembles a high school janitor in appearance and hasn’t been featured much on the court since he entered the league. If he wasn’t on the Lakers, the most storied franchise in the league with the most fans in the sport, he would most likely be forgotten.
But he is on the Lakers. And he has a great deal of raw talent and athleticism that make the jokes about him even funnier.
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He’s got bounce, and before the Lakers resigned him this offseason, the Golden State Warriors were reportedly interested in the 25-year-old point guard.
Where there are social media, there are trolls, and even to a lesser degree, simply people who want to make jokes and have fun.
Cue in last week, where two photoshopped pictures of Caruso surfaced online.
Then this week, Caruso, having noticed the photoshopped pictures, showed what appeared to be an official letter from the NBA requiring him to submit to a random drug test.
The NBA’s decision to send a “random” drug test to Caruso highlights the massive impact social media has on even the biggest organizations. You’d think the NBA would do better reconnaissance, but hell, better safe than sorry I guess.
In the brief court minutes he’s gotten, Caruso has shown flashes of being a starting-caliber point guard. His passing, scoring, size and shooting ability make him a perfect floor general for the modern NBA, and a perfect complement to LeBron James.
James has been a point forward his whole career, and for years has been the best passer in the NBA. Now, the Lakers said they plan to play James at point guard at least to start the season.
Caruso then, is the best option for the Lakers to slot in the starting lineup alongside presumably James, Danny Green, Anthony Davis and JaVale McGee.
His shotmaking, cutting ability, and athleticism allow James to orchestrate the offense and then dish it anywhere on the court for Caruso to finish. And when James needs a rest, Caruso can handle the rock.
The Lakers don’t have a ton of options at point guard. Rondo is a negative on the floor, both offensively and defensively, and his role seems mostly to be a leader this year. Quinn Cook is a solid pickup for the Lakers as a shooter but gives too much up on the defensive end.
Caruso deserves a good chunk of minutes this season, and hopefully, the coaching staff realizes this and utilizes him optimally.
As long as there’s not another random drug test coming his way soon.