Before Los Angeles Lakers guard Alex Caruso became a fan favorite in the NBA, he first had to pay his dues in the G League from 2016 to 2019. Now, he already has a ring and has found his niche as one of the key players of the Purple and Gold.
Some, however, are not as fortunate as Caruso and don’t get the opportunity to realize their dream of making it out of the G League into the NBA. A select few have received 10-day contracts but barely made an impact and eventually found themselves waived.
Caruso, who spent time with the Oklahoma City Blue and South Bay Lakers, recently sat down with New Orleans Pelicans guard JJ Redick for his popular The Old Man and The Tree Podcast. The 6-foot-5 combo guard shared an honest take about why most players never make it out of the farm programs.
“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.”
The 26-year-old Caruso’s sentiment sounds like the perfect analogy for the importance of embracing one’s role for the betterment of the team. While it’s the best players from the G League who usually receive call-ups, it doesn’t mean they’ll have the same starring role once they reach the NBA. Most young players fail to grasp this concept and remain unnoticed by NBA scouts.
Alex Caruso, however, understood this from the get-go and made the most out of his two-way contract, splitting time between the Lakers and their G League affiliate before finally earning a two-year NBA deal last year worth $5.5 million
He notched 5.5 points, 1.9 rebounds, 1.9 assists, and 1.1 steals in 64 games this season, but was a vital cog to the Lakers’ title run.
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