Alex Caruso knows that the Lakers are in a rare position.
So much has to go right for teams to even have a chance to compete for a championship. They need the right pieces. The proper mentality. Good chemistry. No injuries. Some luck.
After a decade, the Lakers were finally on track to make a deep postseason run. LeBron James was having an MVP-caliber season and had led the Lakers atop the Western Conference with a record of 49-14. But then everything came to a screeching halt because of the COVID-19 pandemic on March 11.
Now Caruso is anxious to get back onto the court so the team can finish what they started.
“I’m not taking this for granted," Caruso said on The LiucciCast podcast. "I’m 100 percent, ten toes in, trying to get back in and win this because that would be a life accomplishment, career accomplishment, you can’t top that."
The reserve guard was averaging 5.4 points, 1.9 rebounds and 1.8 assists in 17.8 minutes a game this season. He's a fan favorite who often gets "MVP" chants from the crowd and has impressed his teammates with his hustle, defense and decision-making.
“I want to be the last one standing," Caruso said. "I want to know what that feeling is. And I think we have the team to do it. I’m just getting excited talking about it right now. I’m getting a little hyped up.”
Caruso, who is in his third season in the league, knows players don't often get a chance to be a part of history.
“I’m a role player, I know my role and I’m working to get better and to maybe have a bigger role on different teams, but I know that the chances are very slim," Caruso said. "You don’t get many opportunities, and you hear that from so many people around the league and around professional sports, that you don’t get a lot of opportunities to win championships."
Caruso has tried to stay in top shape during the pandemic, transforming his garage into an at-home gym during stay-at-home orders. After the Lakers finished their two-week quarantine following two players testing positive for the virus in March, he found a gym where he was able to shoot around a bit.
There are many reasons why he hopes the NBA resumes.
But above all, he wants to see if the Lakers can accomplish their ultimate goal.
"That's the simple reason of why I want to finish the season, there's no other reason other than that," Caruso said. “I mean obviously you want to get paid, you want to get all your money and you don’t want to mess up the CBA, but you don’t get a lot of chances to win a ring unless your name is LeBron James, right?"