Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, who earned 2013 SEC Player of the Year honors at Georgia, helped the Los Angeles Lakers capture the NBA Title on Sunday evening. Caldwell-Pope scored 17 points as the Lakers defeated Miami, 106-93, in game six of the series.
Caldwell-Pope, who is in his third season with the L.A., started all 21 games of the Lakers’ run through the Playoffs. He averaged 10.7 points per game in the postseason, largely due to connecting on 45 3-pointers. That tally is the second-most ever by a Laker during the Playoffs, trailing only Kobe Bryant’s 49 in 2009-10.
Caldwell-Pope, who averaged 9.3 points in 69 regular-season outings this season, notched double-digit scoring outputs in 15 Playoff contests. He did so in five of six games in the series with the Heat.
Caldwell-Pope was named the 2013 SEC Player of the Year by both the Associated Press and league coaches following his sophomore season in Athens. He finished second among league scoring leaders, averaging 18.5 ppg, and ranked among SEC leaders in nine of 13 statistics kept by the conference. Caldwell-Pope was one of just nine NCAA Division I players to score in every game played during the 2012-13 campaign.
A native of Greenville, Ga., Caldwell-Pope was a McDonalds All-American and ranked as the nation’s No. 24 prospect in the Class of 2011 by espn.com. Two years later, he left as a top-10 pick in the NBA Draft.
Caldwell-Pope was selected by the Detroit Pistons the No. 8 overall pick of the 2013 NBA Draft. He played four seasons with the Pistons before signing with the Lakers as a free agent prior in 2017. Caldwell-Pope has started 397 of 539 regular-season games played in seven NBA seasons and scored his 1000th point in the league on August 8, his final outing of the regular season.
Caldwell-Pope is the second Georgia Bulldog to win an NBA Championship. Shandon Anderson helped the Miami Heat capture the 2006 title.