LeBron James is, undoubtedly, one of the best to ever play the game of basketball.
It’s not hard to argue he’s the greatest of all time, either.
James, though, doesn’t give himself the all-important GOAT title. He’s passed that off to one of his teammates — though probably not the one fans would expect.
“Every time I see him and say, ‘Hey, Bron,’ he just calls me ‘GOAT,’” Los Angeles Lakers guard Alex Caruso said, via Marc Stein of the New York Times. “The first couple times it kind of threw me off. Now it’s just an everyday thing.”
Caruso has averaged 5.9 points and two rebounds off the bench for the Lakers this season, his third in the league after going undrafted out of Texas A&M. The 25-year-old spent two seasons in the G League on two-way contracts, too, and didn’t sign a full deal until this past summer — when he inked a two-year, $5.5 million deal.
Even with his low numbers, Caruso has proven to be a crucial piece on a team sitting at the top of the NBA standings with star players.
“Every time he’s in the game, he’s a plus guy,” James said, via the New York Times. “He can do so much. He can defend at a high level. He’s smart. He’s very tough. To have him on this ball club is a luxury.”
It’s not just his teammates that like him, either.
Caruso has developed a bit of a cult following among NBA fans, and racked up more than 528,000 All-Star votes last week — the sixth-most among Western Conference guards.
“It’s cool,” Caruso said, via The Oklahoman. “I obviously don’t want to take any attention away from guys who have been playing great this year, but it’s nice to know that the fans appreciate me. Mutual respect.”
So, there you have it. James isn’t the GOAT. Michael Jordan isn’t the GOAT.
Caruso is — but he isn’t going to let it go to his head.
“I think I’m just comfortable in my own skin, man,” Caruso said, via the New York Times. “I know who I am. I know what I do. And at the end of the day, it’s basketball.
“People like to put a lot of hype around it, but for me, at the end of the day, I think it’s just my job to go out there and play. Whenever I don’t think and I just play, I play my best. It’s gotten me this far, and I think it’s going to carry me further.”
More from Yahoo Sports: