One of the many heroes of the NBA postseason for the Los Angeles Lakers was Kentavious Caldwell-Pope. Following a consistent regular season, KCP emerged as even more of a weapon for the Lakers in the playoffs, routinely putting in big performances alongside LeBron James and Anthony Davis.
The Lakers rewarded KCP, who was probably the team’s third-best player last year, by re-signing him to a three-year deal, showing faith that he can continue to produce at that level. Trading Danny Green away to acquire Dennis Schroder may be further evidence of the Lakers’ belief in KCP’s abilities.
On Thursday, Caldwell-Pope addressed the media and showed that same belief in himself, effectively saying he was not surprised at how well he played in the postseason:
“The stuff I did in the bubble and the playoffs, that’s really me. Just hard-nosed. Give it all I got. It’s really built a lot of confidence as far as not [being] worried about outside noise, keeping everything straight, keeping focus on the task that I have. The bubble made me really sit down and focus, be mentally ready.”
KCP has had a fairly tumultuous time with the Lakers, signing three (effectively) one-year deals to continue proving himself as a valuable piece to their championship puzzle. He did that and then some, managing to get some contract stability in the process. He referred to that process as “betting on himself” during the media session.
KCP went on to say that he listened to other offers around the league but ultimately chose to return to the Lakers where he was more comfortable and had a chance of helping the purple and gold repeat as champions.