by Chris Camello (@Chris_Camello)/ (@NitefallMedia)
LOS ANGELES – Over the past two-plus seasons, there hasn’t been a player on the Los Angeles Lakers criticized more for his inconsistent play than Kentavious Caldwell-Pope.
Even though the problems of the Lakers over the past few years go beyond the lackluster play of one role player, Caldwell-Pope or KCP, has unfairly gotten the brunt of the blame from fans.
When he got off to a slow start this season, the barbarians were at the gate calling for his head. However, this team didn’t sacrifice Caldwell-Pope. In fact, the opposite occurred, they showed unconditional support.
If it was a rough game shooting the basketball, head coach Frank Vogel would compliment his defensive intensity and hustle.
When Dwight Howard’s Instagram page had negative comments about Caldwell-Pope, Howard responded saying, “Ayy y’all need to kill the KCP noise. He is a Laker. And we don’t do that. Let’s uplift each other. Cmon bro. We all a family.”
Alex Caruso spoke highly of him as a basketball player and a man.
“One of my favorite teammates, me and him have been through a lot the last few years,” Caruso said of Caldwell-Pope. “Just the type of man he is, he went through a lot in the beginning of the year. People trying to talk bad about him and as his teammates we had his back. We knew what he was capable of and credit to him he’s a worker.”
“He’s a pro’s pro at this stage in his career and he’s somebody I could look up to,” Caruso continued.
Caldwell-Pope has used that support and love from his teammates and coaches to fuel his consistency. He’s averaging 9 points per game on 48 percent shooting and 43 percent from three-point range.
Whether he’s starting or coming off the bench, Caldwell-Pope has been productive on both ends taking on defensive challenges against elite guards and wings and making timely threes when the Lakers have needed it.
He’s clearly more confident and continues to make critics look foolish. If the Lakers want to go far this year, they will need Caldwell-Pope to keep up this great stretch. The team clearly believes in him and trusts him, and he’s finally rewarded them