Chicago Bulls, Los Angeles Lakers

Playing for Bulls opened Alex Caruso’s eyes to the media’s Lakers bias

Chicago Bulls point guard Alex Caruso became aware of media bias towards the Los Angeles Lakers after he left for Chicago. 

Alex Caruso has the underdog trajectory often championed in sports, but it wouldn’t be evident by looking at the 27-year-old play for the Bulls this season.

Caruso began his NBA path as an undrafted rookie, working his way through the G League, then to a roster spot on the Lakers, then to an NBA championship. Now, Caruso is getting the spotlight he deserves as a starter on a 12-6 Bulls team featuring Zach LaVine, DeMar DeRozan and Lonzo Ball. Caruso spoke with HoopsHype about why he chose to sign a $30 million contract with the Bulls and the kind of season he’s having in 2021.

In speaking about Austin Reaves, another undrafted player now balling out with the Lakers, Caruso validated a widely-held belief NBA fans around the league lament over.

The Lake Show isn’t just a nickname for showy Lakers games: it seems to be what NBA media creates by focusing primarily on the Los Angeles team.

“I’ve seen a little bit!” Caruso said of catching Reaves highlights. “It’s apparent now – I didn’t realize this when I was on the Lakers – but social media shows all of the Lakers highlights. [Laughs] I didn’t think that was true until I got another team.”

Alex Caruso confirms that NBA media focuses heavily on The Lake Show

Although it’s no surprise, having a great season on a team seeing less media attention isn’t always easy. Exposure can affect the perception of players for league-wide awards: a Lakers player who gets more hype could win an All-Star award against someone with better individual stats on a worse team.

It’s a harsh reality within sports, but in Caruso’s case, the move to Chicago only brought him more exposure. Caruso has now had the opportunity to build chemistry with fellow former Laker Lonzo Ball. The Lakers have been elite in recruiting talent, but Chicago has proven it knows how to utilize those talented players.

Although there’s no official study revealing media bias towards the Lakers, it makes sense they would get more attention. As of 2014, the Lakers signed the richest local television rights deal in NBA history until that time. The Lakers are currently the third most valuable franchise with a value of $5.5 billion, ranking behind the New York Knicks and the Golden State Warriors.

Even though Caruso sees all the Lakers highlights, there’s still the notion that there’s an anti-Lakers bias in media. Love them or hate them, the Lake Show always seems to be on full display.

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