Alex Caruso appreciates the loudest cheers but understands some of them are sarcastic. Amid the unwanted extra attention, AC hopes to associate those cheers with success and winning.
Caruso being the crowd favorite
Whenever Alex Caruso plays, expect the fans in the arena to go wild. He has the skills to wow the crowd: high-leaper, 3-point shooter, and rim attacker. However, other fans cheer him on because of his thinning hair or bald head. For fans, Alex Caruso was the perfect example of a White Man who can jump.
Caruso shared his thoughts on why the crowd goes wild whenever he makes his appearance on the court in an interview with Chicago Bulls insider K.C. Johnson.
“Yeah, that’s just kind of my career at this point. Everybody just kind of likes watching me play. Whether they’re cheering for me out of sarcasm or actual fandom or whatever it is, it comes with it. I was a little surprised it was as loud when I first came in. I would like it to be a little more warranted with some success and winning. But hopefully we’ll get to that point.”
Alex Caruso, NBC Sports
You can't blame AC if he feels awkward when fans cheer despite making a turnover or a bad pass, but in play sequences as below, Caruso made a no-look backdoor bounce pass to a cutting DeMar DeRozan for an easy dunk.
Alex Caruso hopes to change the narrative of the fans’ cheering
Caruso hopes that fans would cheer him someday because he brought a title to the city he plays in. He won one with the Los Angeles Lakers, and for sure, he wanted to do the same with the Chicago Bulls. Fans have different reasons for picking their fave players. Sometimes it's the superstar, sometimes it's the effort guy, and sometimes a player just captures the city's essence and identity. Caruso's social media identity largely shaped his status with the fans, and all AC hopes for it doesn't overshadow his actual game.
One thing is for sure, when Alex plays, he is always all-in. He got the seal of approval from one of the toughest, most demanding guys in the league. Not only did LeGM not get him traded, but James actually compared Caruso's mentality to his own.
“We’re one and the same when it comes to winning basketball. To see our chemistry together... I think it comes with our minds.”
LeBron James, WSJ
Social media, the jokes about his hair, and being a white guy with elevation are all a part of it. But at the end of the day, the main reason Alex Caruso is and will be a fan favorite wherever he plays is simple - he plays the game the right way. That's universal no matter where you are and why everyone respects his game.