Carlton Guyton is a 28 year old 193cm guard from Richton Park, Illinois that finished his seventh professional season with the Hamburg Towers (Germany-ProA) helping them move up to the easyCredit BBL playing 21 games averaging 8.7ppg, 2.2rpg, 3.0apg, FGP: 47.9%, 3PT: 39.3%, FT: 74.3%. He has played most of his career in Germany playing with the Basketball Lowen Braunschweig (BBL), two seasons with Gotha (Pro A) and a season with Team Ehingen (Pro A). he also has gathered experience in the G-League, Sweden with the White Eagles Stockholm (Sweden-Basketligan), UCC Assigeco Piacenza (Italy-Serie A2) and Rethymno Cretan Kings (Greece-A1). He spoke to germanhoops.com about basketball.
Carlton thanks for talking to germanhoops.com Where are you at the moment and how is basketball life treating you at the moment?
No problem at all, thank you! I’m currently back home. As far as basketball life goes, I can’t complain at all. I’m in the lab grinding.
Congrats on winning the Pro A title with the Hamburg Towers. How blessed do you feel now having made the right step and going there during the middle of the season?
Thank you! I’m extremely blessed to have joined the Towers. Couldn’t ask for a better group of guys, coaches, and management .
How quickly did you know that you had arrived in a special place in Hamburg? From the top with Marvin Willoughby and head coach Mike Taylor going all the way down the ladder with your teammates, fans and city how special was the basketball culture with the Hamburg Towers?
I knew from day one that Hamburg was a great place. I was already familiar with the great fans after playing there previously. It’s really a great atmosphere to play in, some of the best fans in Germany. They really come out and support every night!
The Hamburg Towers played an unforgettable and exciting final series with Nurnberg. After losing the first game by three points, you won the deciding game by five points and title. How intense was the whole atmosphere leading between games?
It was very intense leading up to that game. I have to take my hat off to Nurnberg, they played an incredible season & were well coached. But we knew what was at stake and we had to get it done. We didn’t want to lose the championship at home in front of our fans!
What kind of self confidence and mentality did the team have going into the last game? How sure were you that you would win the title as a club?
You can never be 100% sure. You just have to go out there and give it your all on every possession. But I believe everyone was confident and knew we had leave it all out on the court.
The Hamburg Towers were very tough in the final game and never allowed Nurnberg over the hump in the fourth quarter. What was key for winning the game?
I’ll have to credit it to our defense & guys stepping up making plays. Like I said we knew it wouldn’t be easy just had to fight to until the very end.
The Nurnberg Falcons played an amazing and unforgettable season. Nobody had them on the list to move up to the easyCredit BBL. What did you appreciate most about their play?
I really appreciate their versatility! They were a well balanced team with young talent and vets. I really felt like they knew their identity as a team.
Let’s talk about the Hamburg Towers season. You came at the start of 2019 and right away lost three of five games. If someone had told you then that the club would win the Pro A title four months later what would you have thought?
As crazy as it may sound, yes! It’s all about how you finish! Our goal was to win the title and in January we weren’t playing our best basketball.
From then on the club had two three game winning streaks and two two game losing streaks. Why was the club a bit up and down in the last months?
We lost a couple close ones and we weren’t at full strength! We were really short handed those couple of months.
The Hamburg Towers lost the last two regular season games to Chemnitz and Tuebingen. With what kind of mind set did the club go into the playoffs. Did Mike Taylor do anything special or different that got the team mentally ready for tough series against Rostock and Chemnitz?
Going into to the playoffs it’s a new season. Every team has a fresh start 0-0, so our goal was to get six wins. Mike and Benka did a great job of having us prepared for the playoffs. I wouldn’t say we did anything different.
How big was the spectacular game four 98-96 win over Chemnitz? Was that the turning point of the playoffs which helped the team make the last push to the title?
That game was huge for us, it kept our season and goals alive. I think winning at Chemnitz may have been the turning point to finally realize we could win it all.
What did you appreciate most about having the opportunity to strap on the Hamburg Towers jersey? Was there one experience in your time that you will for always hold on tight to?
The family atmosphere! I couldn’t ask for a better group of guys! No egos! Everyone had one ultimate goal!
How special was it playing for Mike Taylor. Was he a coach that gave even when it looked most bleak could get some positively to any difficult situation? How key was his unbelievable emotion that he gives during tough times?
Mike is the most positive and encouraging coach I’ve ever played for. It’s a special thing to have a coach like him, seriously. You don’t come across many coaches that are positive ALL the time and in any situation. During the tough times you know Mike 100% belief in everyone he puts out on the court.
Let’s talk about your teammates. How special was it playing with American Andrew Barham? How key was it having him on board for the success and what could you learn from him this season most?
Drew is one of the best shooters I’ve ever played with, he can really fill it up. Having him on the court is another guy you can’t help off, in return it opened the court up for me. I feel like I learned more things off the court from Drew that I’ll carry with me the rest of my life.
How challenging was it having the day to day battles with Tevonn Walker? How key was it having another sniper on the floor for your game?
T is one of the best defenders I’ve come across. Battling him every day in practice only made me better. He was huge for us the entire year. He’s a guy you know you can count on to bring in 110% every night.
You had some physical big men with Germans Freese and Raffington, but describe a bit how important the versatility of Beau Beech was and how his presence on the floor made a huge difference?Beau!!!!! I call him point forward lol. Having him on the court made it easier for me and all of the guards. A big that can stretch the floor the way he can, rebound, and rise to the occasion when we need him most.
How did you see the development of young German Justus Hollatz? What kind of interactions did you have with him and how did you help him best with his game?
When I first got to Hamburg he was out so I didn’t really get to see him play. Then when he returned to the court I was hurt lol. So my first real interaction with him was during the playoffs . I told him to be confident and play your game.
Let’s talk about your game. You have had a rise up the basketball ladder in recent years moving from the Pro A to BBL with Braunschweig, then had a strong season in Italy, but this season had misfortune in Greece, but had a happy ending in Hamburg. Despite winning the Pro A title, how do you rate this season in terms of making strides. Do you see the Pro A season just as another valuable experience and not a step back considering you made your mark in the BBL two years ago?
I wouldn’t consider it a step back at all. I knew when signing to Hamburg there would be a little criticism about going back to the ProA. But I think it was a great decision. I was able to play under a great coach, with great teammates and fans. I was also able to build relationships that will last a lifetime.
You played 21 games averaging 8,7ppg, 2,8rpg and 3,0apg and shot 39% from outside. How content were you with your season?
Never content! I can always improve and be better. But If I can walk away with a championship every season I’m satisfied! Winning is the only thing that matters to me, not my personal stats.
Your minutes were up and down as was your scoring. How tough was this season for you mentally and was it tough getting used to your role?
I wouldn’t say it was tough, just had to adjust to a new situation. But that’s expected when joining a new team in the middle of the season. I know everyone is used to me scoring and playing a lot of minutes, but my role was different on this team. The ultimate goal is to win, no matter how it’s done.
Despite the up and down minutes how do you feel did you develop further with the Hamburg Towers? How vital was the team’s season success for your game?
I was able to develop as a leader and as a point guard. This year was my first time playing point guard primarily.
You have been a very consistent three pointer shooter your whole career. Is there any other ways in the last years that you have been able to make strides with your shot that didn’t only involve reps and shot selection?
I would say confidence. Confidence is key! You’re going to have bad shooting nights or may experience a slump. Remain confident & believe in yourself.
What was your personal favorite game with the Hamburg Towers? Your 29 points in the game four win against Rostock or your 28 points in the game five win over Chemnitz?
The game against Chemnitz for sure. Simply because that was for all the marbles. It was for everything we worked all season for. Plus it was on the road in front of a hostile crowd.
What is the next step for you? Could you imagine remaining in Hamburg or would you consider going to a new country and culture?
I have no clue at the moment. I would love to stay in Hamburg, but who knows.
On what things will you continue to work on in the lab this summer as you continue to improve as a player?
This summer I’ll focus on my body! Then fine tune everything else!
Please list your all-time best starting five of teammates
Hahaha you’re trying to get me killed I see. That’s too tough to decide, I’ve played with some great guys.
Who was the toughest player that you battled in the Pro A this season?
Played against a lot of great players this past season. But one that stands out the most would have to be Malte. Simply because he can get hot at any moment and run off 2 or 3 three pointers. He also did a great job of drawing fouls.
Please name your personal NBA Rushmore old or new?
In no particular order MJ, LeBron, Magic, Kobe, & its tough to pick a last one lol. Maybe I’ll go with Shaq
What is your personal opinion about the never ending debate of who is the greatest Michael Jordan or Lebron James?
I think it’s great for conversation, but in the end it’s a tough debate. They have two different games and played in two different era’s. But I’m personally going with Big Mike!
What was the last movie that you saw?
Toy Story 4!
Thanks Carlton for the chat.