The Los Angeles Lakers introduced Kentavious Caldwell-Pope on Tuesday afternoon as the newest member of the purple and gold. Lonzo Ball, Brandon Ingram, Kyle Kuzma, Thomas Bryant, Larry Nance Jr. and Ivica Zubac were all sitting front and center as president Magic Johnson and general manager Rob Pelinka told stories about how they envision Caldwell-Pope fitting into their system.
After his press conference, Caldwell-Pope took time to chat with Lakers Nation in our interview above. After giving his initial thoughts on his new path, Caldwell-Pope talks about his excitement to play alongside Ball after watching him in NBA Summer League.
We also ask Caldwell-Pope about that tweet LeBron James sent about him after his signing and is he has a message for Lakers Nation. Full transcription below.
It’s an honor and a blessing, I feel blessed to be here. They gave me the opportunity to come in here and showcase my talent and they also believed in me and what I can do, so I’m ready to come in and really get to work.
You’ve spent the past four years in Detroit, born in Georgia, what do you think about L.A.?
I love L.A. It’s like a second home, I come out here to visit a lot but never expected to play for the Lakers, so I’m just blessed to have the opportunity to be a Laker.
Magic Johnson and Rob Pelinka were both talking about how this all came about and how they couldn’t believe they had the opportunity to sign you, did something about the meeting with them just feel right?
Actually, yeah I mentioned that to my agent (Rich Paul) when we talked, after I left the meeting here on Tuesday. He felt the same way I felt, I wanted to call him and let him know but he called me, so he beat me to it. We both felt the same way, we both felt like it was the best decision.
I’m sure you watched some NBA Summer League and Lonzo Ball, man can he push the tempo, get out in transition, how do you see yourself fitting in alongside him?
Right away. The way he’s been playing, his eyes are always up the court, he’s looking to pass the ball, to get someone open. That’s a great point guard that I want to play with.
You’re know for being a 3-and-D guy and the Lakers have been one of the worst defensive teams in the NBA for the past few years, how much have they talked to you about your role on the defensive end?
We didn’t talk much about it, but they know what I can do and I know what I can do within myself so I’m ready to bring that energy and that competitiveness to this team.
You are on a one-year deal here, but that doesn’t mean there couldn’t be a future here, as well…Have they talked to you about that?
We only talked about the one-year deal but just coming in and being prepared throughout the whole season. Who knows? There could be a future here for me.
We saw the LeBron tweet, what did he say to you after signing with the Lakers?
He just told me congrats little bro, that’s like a big brother to me, and being a big brother to me.
Message for Lakers Nation?
Watch out for KCP, here I come.