Summer League Rumors

What has your first NBA season been like? Lamar Stevens: “I think for me it’s been just a lot of learning. Just trying to be a sponge because everything happens so fast for me — really I think for all the rookies without summer league, a shortened training camp and jumping right into the season. It’s just been trying to adjust, trying to learn as much as you can really, really fast. Luckily I have great vets and great coaches that have really spent a lot of time in helping speed up my process. I would say the biggest thing for me is just trying to learn as much as I can, as fast as I can.”
Then in 2017 Nick Mazzella, the general manager of the South Bay Lakers, was at the league’s Elite Mini Camp in Chicago with South Bay president Joey Buss when Caruso caught their eye. “I know if you see Alex on the street you’re not like, This guy must play basketball,” says Mazzella. “But he was just bodying up everybody, defending really well. He had some phenomenal finishes at the rim and then a chase-down block. He really stood out.” After the Chicago camp Mazzella persuaded Lawrence to have his client join the Lakers’ 2017 Summer League team in Las Vegas. When Caruso first met the Lakers’ coaching staff, they largely had the same reaction as most everyone else. “At the Summer League first practice, one of the coaches called me over and said, ‘Who gave the UPS guy a jersey?’ ” says Mazzella.