Average to Savage
Average to Savage

Episode · 2 months ago

Michael Carter-Williams | Average to Savage EP146

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

This is the one hundred and forty-sixth episode of the Average to Savage podcast featuring Orlando Magic guard Michael Carter-Williams. Paul Guarino talked with Michael Carter-Williams discussing his basketball from Syracuse to the NBA, his love for MMA, being in the tech world with NFTs, and the importance of family to him.

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This podcast interview with Michael Carter-Williams was originally recorded on September 21, 2021

...this is the average to Savage podcastwith paul Guerrino. Everyone in anyone athletes celebs andmuch more. What's up everybody. I'm back for another episode of the averageSavage podcast. Our special guest today is Michael carter Williams, Michael,how's it going? It's going good man. Just you know, I got uh three year oldand the new born so I've been pretty busy so everything is going well on myway. Yeah, for sure dad life, I appreciate you coming on the um yeahlet's just go like back in time. Like what was your first memory of playingbasketball? Um First memory playing basketball. It was early on I think Ihad my first workout and like 2nd or 3rd grade and remember go down to the Y.M. C. A. I used to go down to the local Y. M. C. A. Where I live in um justwork out, you know with my stepfather and I come from a basketball family. SoI've I've always been around the game. Yeah, for sure. And then just like whenI always ask everybody this so I'm interested to hear your answer becausewhat like when did you know, you were like really good. Um Honestly it was like noticed latelike once I was playing against guys in college that I knew were going to go tothe NBA like we're gonna be lottery picks and I could compete, you know,and like you know Dion waiters and you know even I know these guys weren'tlottery picks but you know like veterans in college like jardine andBrandon Triche, you know, I was competing with those guys every day andI was on the freshman, so I was like, man, like, you know, this is what thekind of the next level is. Like, I think I'm gonna be able to, you know,make it there. I think that's kind of late. Yeah, I know I was, I was aMcdonald's all american too, but I just was, I don't know what it was. I justdidn't have the realization, you know, I always thought that like, it's weirda lot of guys, um you know, when they get to the NBA, they're like, you know,you've been watching these guys on tv your whole life, so it's kind ofdifferent to step on the floor with them. Yeah, I mean maybe also just likegrowing up in New England obviously,...

...you know, we're not like a powerhouseI'd say uh for things like that. Um and then, yeah, like what was yourrecruiting process like, and then how did you end up picking Syracuse? UmOriginally I wanted to go to nova um that was the school I wanted to um goto, I took a visit there. Um they told me they were going to um finish up therecruiting the class ahead of me and then a couple of weeks later they endedup taking somebody in my class, so I was like, man, I don't want to go thereanymore, they told me that, you know what I mean, that whole spiel so then Itook a visit, it was a team camp at Syracuse and um you know from a highschool we went um as a team and I was like man, I really love it here. Umbuilt a relationship with coach Hopkins and in Boeheim and I loved how they hadguys on staff, they used to play there as a, you know Gerry McNamara and coachAutry and um so you know, I like that aspect and I committed pretty young. Iwanted to kind of get the process how to wait. Um and then just focus on highschool. Yeah, for sure And then um like your first year I believe you just likecame off the bench. Um and then what was that like a lot of motivation to,you know, work out and then you started all all 40 games the next year. Yeah.You know, I was yeah, that was a hard time for me my freshman year. Um Iwanted to play where we had a very good team, we only had three losses thatyear but you know, as being a competitor, I still wanted to be outthere, felt like I could help the team. So um you know, it was good for methough, it was one of the best years of my life, it's you know kind of taughtme, you know to go through some adversity and um you know just to stickwith it and work hard and motivating me to get up early in the mornings and youknow work out and stay after practice and you know just really pushed myself.Yeah for sure. And then you left after your second year was that like a harddecision to make our easy decision? Um It was it was you know I had a lot ofstuff going on at the time my house had...

...burned down um brothers family losteverything. Um This was during the N. C. A. A. Tournament. Um You know I had youknow I had a really good tournament so you know I was M. V. P. In myconference so you know things were kind of a line in that way as well so I am you know the decision was kind of easyfor me um what I need to do for my family and myself. Yeah. Yeah I meanthat's a way to put it is I mean it's awesomeway that you know you hope that you have to help your family so you got todo it um And then just going into the draft um you got drafted 11th overall?Um is that like a was that like a place that you thought was a good fit? Likedid you did you know you were gonna go 11? Did you think it was too high tolow? No I didn't know what I didn't know where I was going to go um you know, I think, you know, I had agood workout in phoenix, I can't remember what picked they had, it waspretty early, had a good workout that called me back um to go work out withthem again, and I had another good workout with them, so I didn't knowkind of where their head was at. Um you know, that's where I thought I wasgonna go, it could have been more hopes than, you know, than anything um but no,I didn't know I was gonna get picked 11, I was I was nervous um you know, I kindof my head was all over the place that night and um but you know, luckily Igot, you know, picked. Yeah, yeah, for sure, and then um 76ers draft you andthen um you win the rookie of the year, so what, what was that like to, to benamed the rookie of the year? Oh, that was that was great, you know, I knew Ihad a shot um you know, winning it once, I went to Philly and kind of had theopportunity to get out there and play right away. Um you know, it was it wasa great, it was a great year, you know, I had ups and downs, you know,obviously went in the work of the year was, you know, unbelievable. Um youknow, losing suck, but you know, I think, you know, I tried, I just didwith the, you know, did the best I, you know, could give him my situation. Yeah,definitely, and I know you got to play with new Orleans Noel to your, your auteammate, what was that experience like...

...to play with them at the next level?That was the, that was cool man, That was a cool experience. Um, you know, usbeing drafted to the same team coming from the same au program, being friendsgrowing up, so that was a special moment. Yeah, definitely. Um, and now Iknow you've been on a few different teams just like how like what's it beenlike just your NBA career and now, uh, you found a home basically in uhOrlando, you've been there for three seasons, four seasons. Yeah, so, youknow, I've been, you know, different places, um, gained a lot of experience,learned a lot from a lot of different players, um, pretty much been in everysituation you could possibly be. And so um, you know, I've definitely learned alot going through the fire, you know, and now, you know, I found a home inOrlando, um great organization, great people, great coaches, um, you know,great staff and you know, it's really, you know, I built a home here and, youknow, I love my role here and just being a leader for, you know, the guysand I'm just having good people around is, you know, amazing, you know, livingin Orlando is, you know, obviously a blessing, so um you know, I'm thankfulto be here, yeah, for sure what's it like going from the young guy in thelocker room now, like you're the veteran with a bunch of young guys onthe magic um yeah, you know, it's crazy, you know, I think this is gonna be myninth year in the league um you know, like I said, I've been through so muchand you know, guys we got a really, really young team and uh we got a lotof talent, you know, in talented guys and it's just about putting our piecestogether, you know, leading them in the right direction, showing them that, youknow, the right way to do things and you know, for them to, you know, besuccessful and you know, just to, you know, play that veteran role and be theguy that, you know, the guys look to in times of distress, so you know, just toease their mind a little bit now, just going into like off seasons and thingslike that, like what, what does that look like for you? Like training was umyou know, off season, I um take a...

...little, take a little break, you know,after the season, you know, travel a little bit and then um you know, I I dosome alternative training, I do some ju jitsu just to get my body moving um youknow, you know, I get back in the weight room and um you know, then Istart, you know, getting on the court stuff and you know, really just, youknow, every day, you know, doing those things and just trying to get a littlebit better each summer. Yeah. How did you get into M. M. A. I've been an M. M.A. For about Probably like 12 years now. So my stepfather used to watch. Um, so,you know, I started with him um love, you know, I just grew to love it. Youknow, love following fighters from started their careers to the end. Umyou know, I'm just a huge fan of it. Um you know, just, you know, don't missthe fan on the weekends, you know, I'm, you know, watching every fight and youknow, getting in the mix with it any way I can. Are you, are you boxing fanswho? Yeah, I'm a bus Venezuela. I like, you know, I like to watch boxing aswell. I I would say right now I probably like may more than boxing justbecause I think the, no, the setup is a little bit better. You know, you kindof have to wait forever for the best boxer to fight the best boxer. Uh So,you know, I think in UFC you get all those, you know, interesting fights andyou know, there's a ranking system so the best fight the best. So um I justenjoy that aspect? Yeah, I think the, I think the thing like you said kind ofboxing is missing obviously like their promoters and things like that, but Ithink they're kind of missing like a league sort of structure, but that'show the boxers are making more than them and if so it's like, you know,give and take what? Yeah, well, I was gonna say like, what do you, what doyou think about this? I've been just calling it like this celebrity boxing,like, you know, jake paul and things like that. Yeah, Yeah. You know, it's,you know, it's interesting, you know, I think like I never hate on anybody, youknow, you know, trying to, trying to make money, trying to make something ofourselves, you know, who are we to tell...

Jake that he can't go out there and tryto fight for his dreams. No pun intended. So, I mean, I think that, youknow, I'm cool with it. I watch, you know, I, I enjoy it. I can't sit hereand say, you know, I'm not cool and I go out and watch, you know, it'sentertaining. It's fun. I just don't like when it starts to get, you know,like the Evander Holyfield come back when they're, you know, a little bitolder and you know, I know they're making money so it's probably good fortheir families, but you know, health is always first. So yeah. Yeah, that was,yeah, that was just not cool to see that was um what about have you haveyou All right if you weren't playing basketball? Have you ever thought aboutlike getting in the cage? Oh training is great. You know I loveit. I'll train off until I die. But you know actually get in the cage. I meanbefore the celebrity stuff you know I would definitely say no but now it'slike I'm not going in there. I'm not fighting anybody and they haven't madecommunity find a professional boxer. Maybe if it was something else whereyou know the playing field was a little bit more even I would you know, step inthere. So what if it was like another NBA player? Yeah no definitely Idefinitely that'll be that'll be cool. Yeah for sure. And then do you thinkthat like mm a training like how do you think that helps you with basketball? Um I think especially jiu jitsu youknow it's always thinking while moving and um you know definitely how it'slike a chess game and I think basketball is the same way basketballyou know you gotta think slow but move fast and I think the agency was kind ofthe same way. Um you know so it helps, you know helps that way helps you getyour body moving from you know taking you know time off which I you know do alittle bit so um Yeah I think I think it helps in that and then actually just,just gets my mom moving? Really? Yeah. And then this season, like what areyour expectations for the magic? Um Like I said, we've got a young team,so it's hard to put real high expectations, you know, on the team,you know, obviously we're gonna go out there and compete every night, you know,we want to make the playoffs, you know,...

...um you know, I think, you know, thatthat that's the goal for us right now is, you know, first get healthy,everybody get healthy and then, you know, you know, for we got we have toformer uh what's the word, not tradition, but camaraderie. Yeah, like,you know, camaraderie or um identity for, you know, kind of who we are, youknow, how we're gonna play. Um and obviously that starts with us, olderguys. Um so, you know, I think those are the expectations for us to, youknow, set goals for ourselves, you know, you know, you know, making the, youknow, the finals or, you know, making the, you know, Eastern Conferencefinals is, you know, a little bit over our heads right now. Um I think we gotto take the steps and and and really build and and really find our identitybefore we can do those things. And if we don't then, you know, i if we do, II really think, you know, in in some time, you know, those things arepossible. Yeah, yeah, for sure. What about like since you entered the league,like what's what's like most changed about the NBA since you've been in theleague practice, I think that, you know,there's so much now about taking care of your body and you know, limitingyour practice time because we have so many games. When I first got the lead,We were practicing every day all day. You know, I remember having 20 minutesto spare and I was napping for 15 so definitely practiced. I mean that's Imean that's good that you're less practice. Um And what advice would yougive to a young athlete? Just uh you know, trying to make it like, I don'tknow, scholarship or like a pro league. Um I would say it's an everyday grindman. Like, you know, you got to make some sacrifice in your life. I'm notsaying, you know, don't hang out with your friends or you know, don't go toprom, but you know, at some point you got to make a sacrifice and you know,it's it's a daily grind. You got to do something every day to get better. UmYou know, it just takes real hard work...

...and spending time in the gym. Yeah, for sure. All right. You readyfor some fun questions. Yeah, let's do it. All right. What do you what do youlike to do in your free time? Oh as you know, I'm an mm. Hey guys soI like to move some judge it too. I love you know hanging out with my kidsswimming in the pool and the beach guy so I love going to the beach. Oh yeahactually I was gonna ask you like how how is fatherhood changed you? Um Manit's it's changed me a lot. I saw some of your instagram post that's why I hadto ask you every every every every decision I make. You know it's aboutthe kids now it's not only about me you know things are you know I feel likeI'm more diligent in the time I spend away from them just because you know Idon't have time to you know to relax and hang out you know whatever I gottado you know whatever I'm focusing on is the task at hand. Really? Yeah for sure.Um But what's uh what's something people don't know about you? Mm It's a good question. Um I don't know how people perceive me andI I don't really know I I love joking around you know I'm always I'm a bigfan of never letting the old man creeping like I I just I'm alwaysjoking I'm always you know you know I can hang out with you know you know pretty much whoever and getalong with I don't know. Yeah for sure. Oh yeah I know you're into crypto a lottoo and you have your own N. F. T. Company so tell me about that. Yeah I'mdefinitely big into the Kryptonian FT world. Um Got a little company goingcalled defi Cryptocurrency actions. And while we're doing a lot of differentprojects with a lot of different companies and doing some cryptoprojects, doing some N. F. T. Projects. So we got some some big things coming,you got a couple of a couple of teammates with me, I got Gary Harris,he's with us talking a few other guys as well so it's gonna be uh it's gonnabe fun. Yeah you made some of your own right.

I have it so I am I'm in the processfrom the process of making me phone having our old ft driver. Yeah so Iactually made a couple this, I don't even know a couple months ago justbecause like everyone is doing it and I was just so basically I like hats madean intuitive entity so it was it was interesting um And then I saw it also Iknow you have your au team. Um So what what where is that at? And tell meabout that. Yeah so it's called the M. C. W. Stars. Um My mother and I run itum We got about 20 teams total about 15 girls and five boys. Five or six boysteams and um we were out in New England um You know it's you know it's grown somuch, we compete out of we compete at all the best tournaments in in in inthe U. S. And we do well you know we've been some really really good programsand it's been great to see the girls go off to college and you know my my momis a great job in helping out um you know a lot of kids get into college youknow it's a different process you know when you're a division to divisionthree player even even low division one sometimes it's a different process ofyou know get into college and you know what you need to do and how to you knowsending film taping and you know it's a lot different than the you know kind ofthan the boys so um she's done a you know a great job of that and um yeahit's been it's been great, it's been definitely been successful. Yeah I meanthat's one thing I think that that's cool that you're doing that you're bothyou're doing girls and boys um like what do you what do you do you like towatch like W. N. B. A. Um I don't watch a ton of W. N. B. A. To be honest umyou know I catch some games here and there um I definitely I'm a bigsupporter of the W. N. B. A. Um you know um you know that's a huge reasonas to why I have the girls program uh you know I I really think that younggirls need to you know they should be able to interact with um girls in the W.N. B. A. Or NBA more. Um You know I think it's a you know pretty wellestablished thing you see high school...

...kids all around NBA players nowadaysand you know just trying to help bridge that gap between you know girls and inthe W. N. B. A. Players and kind of bringing that you know they have moreattention and get and have them get the attention that they deserve. I justthought of this question, would you ever want to be like a W. NBA owner? Um I don't know. I don't know. I don'tI don't know it's not to say it's not possible. I just don't know if that'sin my in the deck of cards for me you know at this point but you know thingsalways change. You don't know where your life is going to be you know Andfor five years. Yeah for sure. And then back to the fun questions. I know wegot off, we got off track a little bit uh what's your what's your favoritelike cheap meal? Favorite cheap meal. I love burgers. Sodefinitely any anything you know big burgers. I'm good with some bacon on it.Can't go wrong And then why why do you wear number 7? Um I wore number seven I10 was already taken when I was there, 10 is 10 has always been a number. I'mborn on october 10th, so 10 10. Um but I wear seven. Um I like the numberseven. Um you know, it's It's got the number one. so you know that I was ayou know, kind of kind of a cool thing, you know, when I picked the number, Iwas kind of you know, going through, you know, a little something and kindof became closer to God. So, you know, I think it was all, you know, ironic inthat, in that sense. Um You know, like it looks cool, you know Michael Vickwhen he was young, when I was younger, you know, so seven is actually myfavorite number? Uh you are you a jersey guy or you like a sneaker head?Um I used to be more of a sneaker head. I used to be more of a sneaker head.Especially when I was signed with Nike, you know, having all, getting all thefree jordans and all that. Um You know, I just I don't know, grew out of it alittle bit. You matured your dad now,...

...dad shoes just buy whatever and you know, maybe mykids would be a sneaker head. Maybe they both don't know. All right, so myquestion is gonna be So what what are like three jerseys that you want thatyou don't own three jerseys that I want, that. I don't own um I like you know I'm a big fan of youknow obviously love to watch football. Um bo Jackson's jersey would be dope.Um walter Payton bear jersey would be dope. And I would have to probably gobarry Sanders, detroiters will be go to. So those three Yeah definitely threelegends right there and then the last one who is who's been your favoriteteammate in the N. B. A. Favorite teammate man. And I've had somany good teammates man um gun in my head, I gotta pick one probably honest.Um you know it was his second, it was both of our second years. We wereplaying together both young didn't know much about the league coming in and umjust building that relationship with him you know throughout all the yearsand I'm staying in touch. Um and you know it's just funny to see you knowkind of where he came from and where he is now, you know, not even just thebasketball aspect, just you know him speaking english, you know justeverything is kind of you know he's a great great dude, you know he's soprobably is probably my favorite. Yeah I mean he was also a lot smaller toowhen you played with him. Yeah, I got to be pretty crazy. Yeah it's coolthough. It's cool to see all the hard work you put in every day and you knowthey're trying to get where he is, he's at now for sure. Well my God appreciateyou coming on and you have the listeners over. I could follow you onsocial media, appreciate it if all of my instagram, I'm carter Williams, samething on twitter, so, um, I appreciate it. Thank you guys for having me. Iappreciate it, yeah.

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