Alex Caruso’s Chicago Bulls defeated LeBron James’ Los Angeles Lakers 115-110 at United Center on Sunday. James and Caruso showed the world that playing in a different team does not always mean enemies on and off the court.
Both of them exchanged messages on social media and the conversation confirmed to fans that the two championship-winning former teammates still maintained the bromance they formed long ago.
The two pairs went toe-to-toe throughout the night their teams locked horns. A hard-fought battle, it was. Caruso recorded 17 points, nine rebounds, and a +8 in 38 minutes while LeBron had 31 points, 14 rebounds, and six assists in 38 minutes. However, he hit only 1-of-7 from downtown.
It was a much tighter matchup compared to their last clash, which was won by the Bulls 121-103, taking place at Staples Center on November 15.
James shared a photo post-game of his former teammate, tagging him and captioning it “My brother from another FR!!!”. Caruso then returned the love by sharing the post to his very own story, captioning it: “All love always brotherly.”
LeBron James 🤝 Alex Caruso
Brothers for life ❤️pic.twitter.com/KpkODlQlsr
— LeBron’s Way ♛ (@LBJamesWay) November 16, 2021
James Calls Caruso ‘GOAT’ every time he sees him
Caruso is one of the only four players in the NBA that averages over one steal a game in under 20 minutes. Every time he plays, he improves the team’s defensive rating by 9.3 points.
Caruso started as a regular NBA player with the exception that his high-flying dunks and highlight-reel plays were exceptional for a player of his stature and appearance, garnering him the love of Los Angeles fans. However, starting in the 2019-20 season, Caruso has been more than just that. He became a full-fledged rotation player.
Due to those very facts, Caruso has earned himself a number of fun nicknames. However, the best of those nicknames arguably comes from the love of his basketball life, LeBron himself. It started as a joke, but it has become James’ everyday nickname for Caruso, per Marc Stein of The New York Times.
Caruso re-posting LeBron’s IG story: pic.twitter.com/F1FP4XJSmk
— michael corvo (@michaelcorvoNBA) December 20, 2021
“Every time I see him and say, ‘Hey, Bron,’ he just calls me G.O.A.T.,” Caruso said with a laugh. “The first couple times it kind of threw me off. Now it’s just an everyday thing.”
James is genuine in his feelings for Caruso, saying that he brought nothing to the Lakers but positive things to say. As one of the most intelligent players of all time, James clearly noticed the value Caruso had on the Lakers and now in Chicago.
“Every time he’s in the game, he’s a plus guy,” James, said. “He can do so much. He can defend at a high level. He’s very smart. He’s very tough. To have him on this ball club is a luxury.”
Caruso is arguably the most complete defensive complement to any offensive-minded point guard, proven by the fact that in the 11 minutes per game during his time in LA, Caruso alongside Rajon Rondo, recorded an offensive rating of 111.4, a defensive rating of 97.0, and a net rating of 14.4. The numbers ranked seventh, first, and first in the NBA respectively.