MCW On His Goals, His Summer, And Nerlens' Hair

by Max Rappaport Writer

On Monday, Michael Carter-Williams joined Jon Marks and Sean Brace of 97.5 The Fanatic FM to talk about his goals for next season, the debut of teammate and longtime friend Nerlens Noel, and his reported invitation to practice alongside Team USA as a member of the National Select Team. 

On May 6, one day after being named the Kia Rookie of the Year, Carter-Williams underwent surgery to repair the labrum in his right shoulder. The procedure kept him from participating in either of the NBA’s two summer leagues (Orlando and Las Vegas) that took place from July 5-21, and also prevented him from accepting an invitation to train alongside Team USA from July 28-31.

“It was a great honor to get an invite down there,” said the 22-year-old point guard. “It’s something I want to do eventually… I was really excited about going down there and competing.”

Carter-Williams has reached the point in his shoulder rehabilitation where he can begin shooting again. Over the next two months, he’ll work to bring himself back to 100% before training camp begins. But the 6’6” point guard will also spend that time polishing the areas of his game that he feels could use improvement.

“I did a lot of good things out there, and I learned a lot,” he said of his rookie campaign. “But definitely just my three-point shot, getting a little bit stronger, and my pull-up shot. Those are the three things that I’m really working on this offseason to expand my game and make the game easier on myself.”

He was also asked about teammate Nerlens Noel, who made his professional debut at Summer League in Orlando after missing the entire 2013-14 season while recovering from left anterior cruciate ligament surgery. The two have been close friends for years, competing alongside one another with the same AAU team during their prep careers in the Boston area. 

Carter-Williams and Noel as AAU teammates c. 2010

“It’s funny, I’ve known Nerlens for so long that I’ve seen him without the flat top,” Carter-Williams said, laughing. “It’s him, it’s his swag. 

He was also asked about Noel’s odds of earning Rookie of the Year honors in 2015. Marks and Brace noted that that the 6’11” center currently holds 18/1 odds (10th in the NBA) according to Las Vegas oddsmakers even after averaging 13.4 points, 5.6 rebounds, 1.4 assists, 2.6 blocks, and 1.8 steals in 25.6 minutes per game through five Summer League appearances. 

“I think he’s a big underdog in this category. He’s a tough player, he does it all, so I think he has a good chance,” said Carter-Williams.