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Wendell Carter Jr. didn’t make headlines this offseason, but here’s what he’s been up to

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Podcast and tv appearances for the Bulls’ 2nd-year big

2019-20 Chicago Bulls Media Day Photo by Randy Belice/NBAE via Getty Images

Everybody is preoccupied with Chicago Bulls new toy Coby White and arguing over how many steps forward they think Zach LaVine and Lauri Markkanen will take this season.

As a result, second year big man Wendell Carter Jr. kind of gets lost in the conversation.

Part of the reason for that has been all the injuries. He played in only 44 of 82 games his rookie season due to several injuries, had offseason ab surgery, and has hurt himself twice already in training camp.

He has made a few non-injury related headlines this offseason though.

This is 100 percent not Carter’s fault. Shame on Jarrett Jack (who was in his 30s when Carter would have visited the school) and the assistant coach. When you are a wide-eyed seventeen-year-old on a recruiting visit trying to make a good impression on players and coaches you are going along with whatever happens. Especially when a 30-something-year-old Georgia Tech legend is facilitating the shenanigans.

On to better news.

Joakim Noah would be sooo proud of what Wendell Carter Jr. had to say on ESPN’s Jalen and Jacoby Show about NBA players being friendly with each other during games.

“That’s something I really don’t like. I don’t like it when my teammates are dabbing opponents when they make a good play. I really hate it. I’ve checked a couple of my teammates when they do it like you can do that after the game but now we’re trying to win.”

More recently, Carter stopped by “The Right Time” podcast with Bomani Jones. It’s an entertaining 30-minute conversation, but here are the highlights in case you are time crunched or not feeling listening to the whole thing.

  • Both in the Jalen and Jacoby show and in this podcast, Carter talks candidly about money and the excitement and challenges of suddenly having mucho dinero.

“I was excited. Literally never had a job before or a steady income so knowing that is going to happen every two weeks for at least four years I was like wow. This was the life I always dreamed about.”

He also said he bought himself a Mercedes because it is one of the only luxury cars that he could fit his 6-foot-10-inch frame into.

  • He thinks that college athletes should be paid.
  • Tuition at Duke is $58,000 meaning a lot of rich and connected people go there. Crossing paths with a future NBAer is therefore nothing to get hyped about.

“If I had a really good game the night before it was hectic on campus. But for the most part the people who go to Duke are really well off, they have a really good family...they’re high class also so they really don’t get too star struck when they saw me or anything.”

  • The Bulls are making public predictions and setting public goals this season.

“The ultimate goal is to get into the playoffs with a winning record of course. I feel like that’s the biggest piece Of course I want to grow individually...score my points, get my rebounds. Of course that’s something I want to do but when you win people get paid.”

“We are going to be solid...really really solid. It’s always good when a guy has an extra year on his belt. More experience, everybody has their summer where they got individually better and I also feel like we’re young so we’re able to relate with each other. I feel like we’re going to be really good this year.”

  • Jim Boylen was kind of a d-bag when he took over the Bulls in December, but his old-school style has slowly began to grow on the players.

“Everybody felt like it was an attack on us, like slow down he’s not going to let you this. But as the days went on and more games were played and this whole summer spending more time with him he cares about us and wants us to win. He’s going to do whatever he can to help us win.”

  • Carter looks up to Thaddeus Young. He sees a lot of similarities between his game and the game of his veteran teammate.
  • This was probably the biggest headline from the interview from a general sports interest perspective. Carter was abruptly switched from the Batman to the Robin role when Marvin Bagley III reclassified and committed to Duke (he did note that they did become really good friends).

“I was hurt when he committed to Duke. I’m not going to lie it did hurt me.”

  • His parents live in Chicago and they treated him like a kid for awhile (as in cooking for him, trying to talk with him about where he goes and who he hangs out with, etc.). At first, his parents even lived in the same building as he did but now they don’t.