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“I’ve always wanted to be a Bull. It’s the only thing I’ve ever dreamed of.”
You could say Jevon Carter is happy to be here.
CHGO had the opportunity to interview Carter during Day One of Bulls Fest, the second annual celebration of Bulls, basketball, Chicago and community. Carter was quick to share his enthusiasm about joining his hometown team.
“Talking to my agent Mark Bartelstein, when he called me saying the Bulls was a possibility, it was hard for me to think that I could go anywhere else,” Carter told CHGO in a podcast interview from Bulls Fest. “All it had to do was make sense and I was all on board.”
The Bulls came correct, offering Carter a three-year, $21 million deal, which was agreed to, in principle, during the first hour of Free Agency.
Carter represents the Bulls’ big splash of the offseason, and he knows how his game fits into what the Bulls are trying to do.
“Just coming in and being myself, bringing what I have,” Carter said of what the Bulls are asking of him. “Talking to everybody [in the organization], it seems like they love what I bring to the game of basketball and what I bring is something they were missing.”
What the Bulls are missing is defensive doggedness to replace the departed Patrick Beverley in the Bulls starting point guard slot. They need a three-point hunter who converts on good volume, and a veteran with playoff experience to help the Bulls get back to where they want to go.
If you want to get a sense of who Carter is as a player, look no further than his Treadmill Mentality Academy, a youth basketball camp that Carter put on at Proviso West High School.
Carter says Treadmill Mentality is more than a basketball skills camp, but a lifestyle mentality that helped him achieve his goals. Now he wants to do the same for Chicago area youth.
“I wasn’t one of those kids growing up with NBA just floating all over my name,” he said. “If you heard my name, you weren’t thinking he’s going to the NBA. There was a lot of work I had to put in and it’s just that treadmill. No matter what, keep going. The treadmill not gone turn off until you turn it off.”
We have a sense of the kind of player Carter is based on his role in previous stops and who he is as a person based on his philanthropic work. But he doesn’t want you to come with any preconceived notions. Come watch his game and make your mind up for yourself.
“I get that question a lot,” Carter said. “Every time I go to a new team, they ask me what I want to tell the fans about who I am and what I bring. And I don’t like to do that. I’m that guy where I want you to show up and give your opinion. And tell everybody else what you saw.”
Carter is expected to make an impact and compete for the starting point guard role for the Bulls. After underachieving and missing the playoffs last season, Carter says this season can go one of two ways. And he’s here to make sure the Bulls get back on track.
“We’re one of those teams that’s right in the middle,” Carter confessed of the state of the team. “We can be one of those teams that fall off or one of those teams that becomes something great.
My look on it is why not go be something great? Put that work in, and who knows what we can become.”
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