Paul Carter is a 29 year old 205cm forward from Little Rock, Arkansas playing his sixth professional season and first with Hyeres-Toulon Var Basket. the New Zealand Breakers (Australia-NBL). This season he has already played with three teams starting with ALBA Berlin (Germany-BBL) playing 4 Eurocup: games averaging 4.5ppg, 1.3rpg and playing 8 German BBL games averaging 2.5ppg, 1.6rpg and then moved to the New Zealand Breakers (Australia-NBL) playing 11 games averaging 9.1ppg, 4.5rpg, 2FGP: 39.5%, 3FGP: 50.0%, FT: 64.3%Last season he played with the Sharks Antibes (France-ProA) playing 33 games: 10.2ppg, 4.9rpg, 1.7apg, 1.1spg, FGP: 39.2%, 3PT: 34.7%, FT: 70.5%. He started his basketball career with Minnesota(NCAA) before moving to Ill.-Chicago (NCAA) for his final year and played 31 games averaging 14.7ppg, 8.0rpg, 1.9apg, FGP: 40.8%, 3PT: 29.9%, FT: 76.7%. He started his professional basketball career in 2011 with Proteas Danoi AEL (Cyprus-Division A): 4 games: 14.8ppg, in Dec.’11 moved to Utah Jazz (NBA), later that month signed at Idaho Stampede (D-League): 34 games: 11.1ppg, 5.4rpg, 1.6apg, 1.0spg, FGP: 49.5%, 3PT: 42.9%, FT: 79.3%. In the 2012-2013 season he joined the Idaho Stampede (D-League): 9 games: 3.0ppg, 2.7rpg, in Jan.’13 signed at Springfield Armor (D-League): 23 games: 5.5ppg, 3.7rpg, 1.3apg, FGP: 40.2%, 3PT: 21.2%, FT: 77.8%. In the 2013-2014 season he played for Elizur Ashkelon (Israel-National League): 8 games: 15.1ppg, 7.5rpg, 1.6apg, 1.6spg, FGP: 49.2%, 3PT: 38.5%, FT: 79.5%. Two seaons ago, he got further experience with Lapuan Korikobrat (Finland-Korisliiga,playing 40 games: Score-2(19.7ppg), Reb-1(12.5rpg), 2.4apg, 1.6spg, FGP: 50.4%, 3PT: 22.6%, FT: 79.8%. He spoke to German Hoopsafter leaving Alba Berlin and going to the New Zealand Breakers.
Paul thanks for talking to German Hoops Where are you at the moment and how was your Christmas?
Thank you! I’m Currently in Auckland New Zealand. My Christmas was unusual being that I spent it on a plane. My wife and I left The States Christmas Eve and landed the day after Christmas.
The new year 2017 is slowly coming upon us and you are headed to New Zealand to the Breakers. What personal goals in basketball and as a man do you want to achieve the next year?
I honestly want to help the Breakers get back to the finals and win! As a man I’m hoping to be able to start a family this year!
You had a short stay with Alba Berlin coming in getting a short term contract. Many people didn´t understand why the club got two forwards with you and Tony Gaffney. It was only obvious one player would suffer less minutes.
Yes, it was an interesting situation, one I wasn’t accustomed to for sure. Playing minimal to no minutes was very hard but I learned a lot about myself and the business as well.
Then Tony Gaffney got injured and nothing changed with your minutes. How disappointed were you with how your stay with Alba Berlin ended up?
I was disappointed I didn’t get to play more but Alba has a great group of guys and my teammates kept me positive. They all believed in my skills and abilities so them having confidence in me really helped uplift my spirits in a tough situation.
Sometimes the coach and player don´t go eye to eye, or a player doesn´t fit into the system or there is just too big of a rotation. Why do you feel did you not fit in?
It was just the timing and situation, my strengths are playing on the wing with my size and length but Alba didn’t need me there, so playing the stretch 4 and very limited minutes was challenging but that’s all Alba really needed from me.
Were you able to take away any positives from your Alba Berlin stay?
I took a lot of positives! I learned a different style of basketball from coach Ahmet and I also learned how to be more effective with limited minutes. It’s strengthened my mental approach as well.
Now you are headed to a new world with New Zealand to the Breakers. With what expectations are you going there?
I’m just expecting to work hard and play my game. I’ll be playing my actual position so it’ll be a smooth adjustment.
You will be playing with ex NBA player David Stockton as well as perhaps New Zealands best player ever Kirk Penny who played for Alba Berlin 10 years ago. What will it mean to you being able to play with a legend like Kirk Penny?
Kirk is an awesome player and person! I’m hoping to learn a lot from him!!! He’s a talented scorer but a true leader and professional. I feel blessed to have him and David as teammates this season.
Let´s talk a little about your basketball career. In just a few years you have played all over in places like Cyprus, D-League, Mexico, Israel, Finland and France. What besides the traveling do you adore most about being a basketball globetrotter?
It’s the people. I love meeting new people and being immersed in new cultures. Building relationships is what matters most to me, it’s been a challenging journey but the people I’ve met have made it worthwhile.
Last season you played with the Sharks Antibes (France-ProA). How intense were the battles in practice with Tim Blue who has had a solid professional career?
Our practice was really intense! Tim is a great player and competitor I loved when guys would go at it! Tim makes sure you bring it every time you’re on the floor.
Two seasosn ago you played with Lapuan Korikobrat (Finland-Korisliiga) playing 40 games Score-2(19.7ppg), Reb-1(12.5rpg), 2.4apg, 1.6spg, FGP: 50.4%, 3PT: 22.6%, FT: 79.8%. Did it at times feel like you were a man playing with kids?
Lol No I wouldn’t say that, I was just in a great situation! My coaches Derrick Crayton and Nenad Stevonovic trusted me 100% and allowed me to show my strengths and play my style of basketball.
Your teammate was Austin Rowland who played in Germany many years ago with Ulm, Trier and Giessen and set a single game assist record with 18 with Ulm. What do you remember him doing on the court that will always stick in your mind?
Austen was a true floor general! He made sure everyone was where they needed to be and he was super competitive! If he ever beat you at anything in practice you would never forget it! Lol
You started your professional career in 2011 with Proteas Danoi AEL (Cyprus-Division A): 4 games: 14.8ppg, What wasy our wake up call to being a rookie in Europe where you knew that you were far away from home in Little Rock, Arkansas?
I’m actually born and raised in LOS ANGELES. I only lived in Little Rock for one year of my life hopefully that will be corrected. But my wake up call was actually the freedom offensively. In college a lot of players are really restricted. When I got to Cyprus my coach didn’t care how I played, but he just wanted me to be assertive and smart.
You then moved to the Idaho Stampede (D-League): 34 games: 11.1ppg, 5.4rpg, 1.6apg, 1.0spg, FGP: 49.5%, 3PT: 42.9%, FT: 79.3%. You had had work outs with NBA teams as well. Did you ever feel like the NBA could be a closer step for you than a reach?
I always felt the NBA is where I belonged and in many ways I still believe that! The D- league taught me so much in such a short time. The D-league will make a man out of you quick! It’s truly sink or swim.
In your second professional season you split time with the Idaho Stampede (D-League): 9 games: 3.0ppg, 2.7rpg, in Jan.’13 signed at Springfield Armor (D-League): 23 games: 5.5ppg, 3.7rpg, 1.3apg, FGP: 40.2%, 3PT: 21.2%, FT: 77.8%. It was a rather disappointing season. What did you learn about the NBA dream in conjunction with the D-league that the whole experience is purely a business?
Pretty much. I thought things were going to go very different at times my situation had nothing to do with my ability on the court. I leaned that in this business it’s not just about who can put the ball in the hole.
You started your basketball career in 2008 with Minnesota where you played 63 NCAA games in two seasons. You had some very talented guys there like a Royce White as well as Trevor Mbakwe coming in in your second season. Why did you go after two years? Did you feel you couldn´t develop further under Tubby Smith?
I left because my younger sister Bria was diagnosed with Cancer. I left to be closer to her during her chemo therapy treatment.
Trevor Mbakwe didn´t play in your last season, but you saw him in practice. Did you know that he would become such a great player at Minnesota and develop into a Euroleague player
I knew Trevor would great! I honestly believed he was a sure in for the NBA, him and Rodney Williams. Trevor’s hustle and worth ethic is 2nd to none!
You moved to Ill.-Chicago (NCAA,) playing 31 games: 14.7ppg, 8.0rpg, 1.9apg, FGP: 40.8%, 3PT: 29.9%, FT: 76.7%How did head coach Howard Moore give you that extra kick your senior year and groom and prepare you best for a professional basketball career?
Coach Moore was great! He put me in position to succeed and exploit my talents. It was a rough year but he believed in me the whole way through and allowed me to play through failure and successes.
Who was the best player that you battled in college that is in the NBA now?
Gordon Hayward and Evan Turner were the toughest they both have great size and a great skill set.
If you had to construct your own NBA Rushmore, which 4 heads would you choose?
MJ, Magic, LeBron, Kobe, No particular order
Lebron finally brought an NBA title to the Cavs. Where does he stand at the moment in the never ending debate with where he stands as the best of all-time?
He’s for sure top 3 in my book behind MJ and Magic
Where do you rank Kevin Garnett with the best power forwards that ever played the game?
Garnett is top 5 for sure! But I’m not sure what order that’s a tough list!
Klay Thompson recently hit 60 points in 29 minutes touching the ball for only 90 seconds. Where does this performance rank with you?
They’re so many great NBA performances, but it’s way up there.
One always talks about Lebron and Curry, but one has to mention Russell Westbrook. He is averaging triple double stats at the moment. Is he stat wise the best player in the world right now?
Numbers don’t lie! Westbrook is having a crazy season, James Harden is too! I’m happy to see them doing well.
What was the last movie that you saw?
Star Wars Rougue one I’m a huge Star Wars fan!!!
Thanks Paul for the chat.