'The bald Mamba': this is Alex Caruso, the Lakers antihero

"Mamba Calva" or "Insurance Salesman" are some of the player nicknames that is a viral sensation ... and a base for your chance.

'The-bald-Mamba':-this-is-Alex-Caruso-the-Lakers-antihero

His name is Alex Caruso, and of course the last name helps because he has personality. His appearance also contributes drastically to the phenomenon: white and bald, it has been said that it is “like watching a very fit blogger play in the NBA” or that “you don't know if you are seeing an elite athlete or a cool stepfather who accompany their partner's children to their weekend parties. ” It is a sensation on the internet, the cult hero of some Lakers fans who have been in poverty for a few years and who have found on this base, until recently nothing more than an outsider, someone to reflect on. And it is not easy to find in the NBA, where the prodigious is the norm, a player to say what is so beloved of one of ours.

That is what has made him feel viral, a type nicknamed Insurance Salesman, the Mamba Calva or Carushow and that he sees as social networks and Reddit are filled with memes in his honor. 2 He carries it with humor, as he has just recognized Bleacher Report: “It's a no stop. Every day there are a few tweets, people who tell me that I am the best in history, who calls me 'Carus-god' ... it's crazy. ” The matter went so far that an image of him training, with a very worked musculature (in photoshop), caused the visit of the anti-doping controls of the NBA.

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He, beyond the anecdote, assumes a good part of the connection of the fans with his style: “I'm nothing Hollywood… I'm the opposite, a very quiet guy. It would seem more logical that I was in a place like San Antonio, Charlotte, Milwaukee ... but here I am, it's fun that I'm done in the maelstrom of LA In every game I play as hard as I can and I think people appreciate that. .. and I have the appearance of any type of street, of course. ”

And now with a guaranteed contract, 5.5 million for two seasons,“ a surreal feeling ”in his own words. It is, of course, the prize for work. With 25 years and 1.93, this Texan base has taken every opportunity he has had in his two years at the Lakers, where he arrived after not being drafted in 2016 and after a stage in the G-League with Oklahoma City Blue. He knew how to use the summer league trampoline (2017 and 2018) and sneak through each slit that appeared, almost always in the form of a Lonzo Ball injury. Finally, this summer he ignored Grizzlies or Warriors and signed as part of the Lakers plan B when they ran out of Kawhi Leonard. His teammates at Staples have been warning for two years: you can joke as much as you like, but there is an NBA player there. And one that progressed a lot between the 2017-18 and last season, when it really seemed like a rotation piece with all of the law. Each time more inspired by attack and with tremendous intensity in defense. And a physicist who cheats at a first glance: he is capable of doing maths that leave LeBron James himself speechless.

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The true story of his last season is told by the final stretch, the last 19 games. With the Lakers already evicted, devastated by injuries, out of the fight for the playoffs and without LeBron, Lonzo or Ingram. As a starter he averaged (in the last 15 games of the course) 17.8 points, 8.8 assists and 1.3 steals with 47.7% in triples. 2 In the short time he agreed on the track with LeBron, both combined a +9.1 rating in favor of the Lakers. Another good symptom that the minutes can be there in a team where it is difficult to know how the base rotation will be with him, Rajon Rondo, Quinn Cook and a LeBron that will be the first de facto playmaker. And that, his ability to accompany without making noise and help in many small things, is what can open the doors of the track.

With a contract (he was the first player to reach the NBA from a two-way agreement the G-League) finally guaranteed, this is his great opportunity: “If you look at the Lakers there are LeBron, Anthony Davis, Danny Green ... great players in the NBA. Then I am. ” Before the Lakers, the viral tweets and the NBA, he played four years at Texas A&M, almost a family affair since his mother works in human resources and his father is a sports director at a university where his two sisters also play. In the March Madness of 2016 he led his team (25 points), his first moment of glory (“the biggest comeback in history,” he said), in a second round win against Northern Iowa after losing by 12 in the absence 44 seconds Now it is difficult to know what will come next season. But it is certain that s will be a favorite of the Staples, which can evolve into a useful player of a level team and that the Lakers trust him more and more publicly. The director of personnel Nick Mazzella says: “It is a good and very large base. When I was between the NA and the G-League adapted very well, did everything he was asked. It didn't matter if he was called at half past ten at night to tell him that he had to travel with one team or the other, he accepted everything in the best way. It is increasingly complete and his defense is already outstanding. ”

If the end of the season serves to measure the potential of Alex Caruso, there are his 32 points, 10 rebounds and 5 assists against the Clippers and two last brilliant matches against Blazers ( 18 points, 11 assists) and Jazz 812 + 3 and 7 rebounds). In a few months, it is possible that not only the Lakers fans are clear about who Caruso is, the NBA base with the look of a muscled stepfather and cool.

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Photos from as.com
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