M. L. Carr
January 9, 1951 |
Wallace, North Carolina
|Listed height||6 ft 6 in (1.98 m)|
|Listed weight||205 lb (93 kg)|
|High school||Wallace-Rose Hill
(Teachey, North Carolina)
|NBA draft||1973 / Round: 5 / Pick: 76th overall|
|Selected by the Kansas City–Omaha Kings|
|Position||Small forward / Shooting guard|
|1973–1974||Hamilton Pat Pavers|
|1975–1976||Spirits of St. Louis|
|Career highlights and awards|
|Career ABA and NBA statistics|
|Points||6,759 (10.0 ppg)|
|Rebounds||3,054 (4.5 rpg)|
|Assists||1,336 (2.0 apg)|
|Stats at Basketball-Reference.com|
Michael Leon "M. L." Carr (born January 9, 1951) is an American former professional basketball player in the National Basketball Association (NBA) and American Basketball Association (ABA), and former head coach and General Manager of the Boston Celtics. He coached the Celtics for two seasons, posting a career record of 48 wins and 116 losses.
After graduating from Guilford College, Carr was selected by the Kentucky Colonels of the American Basketball Association with the 7th pick of the 5th round of the 1973 NBA draft. However, he was one of the final roster cuts the Colonels made in camp, and was subsequently released. The following season, Carr played in Israel for the Israel Sabras in the European Pro Basketball league. For leading his team to the championship, leading the league in scoring, and emerging second in rebounding, he was named Most Valuable Player.
During the 1975–76 NBA season, Carr played for the Spirits of St. Louis in the ABA, averaging 12.2 points and 6.2 rebounds per game, and was named to the ABA's All-Rookie Team. The Spirits of St. Louis were one of two ABA teams (the Colonels being the other) that did not join the NBA in the ABA–NBA merger, and as a result Carr joined the NBA as a member of the Detroit Pistons from 1976–79. After being selected to the All-Defense second team during the 1979 season and leading the league in steals, Carr was signed as a free agent by the rebuilding Boston Celtics. Pistons coach Dick Vitale responded by saying, "We just had the heart and soul ripped from our team." The Carr acquisition was one of the four major additions which immediately propelled the Celtics back to the top of the NBA standings after finishing near the bottom the previous season, along with majority owner Harry Mangurian, head coach Bill Fitch and rookie forward Larry Bird. Carr was instrumental in leading the Celtics' defense past the favored Philadelphia 76ers in the 1981 Eastern Conference Finals, on the way to Boston's 14th NBA championship. Playing for the Celtics until 1985, Carr averaged 9.7 points and 4.3 rebounds per game during his NBA career.
He is best known for the steal and dunk he made in overtime of Game 4 of the 1984 NBA Finals versus the Lakers in Los Angeles, which sealed the victory for Boston, and eventually won another title for them. He is also famous for waving a towel during crucial situations to fire up the Celtics.
Carr later became the General Manager of the Celtics in 1994. He later took over as coach for the 1995–96 and 1996–97 seasons. In his last year as coach, the Celtics had the worst record in team history, winning just 15 games and losing 67 in a tactical effort to get a stronger draft position and poise the team for a comeback under famed college coach Rick Pitino. He was replaced at the end of season by Pitino, who was unable to restore the team to the glory of Carr's playing days. After the 1997 season, he became the Celtics' Director of Corporate Development.
Carr later became president of the WNBA's Charlotte Sting as part of a failed attempt to become the owner of an expansion NBA team in Charlotte, along with Steve Belkin and former teammate Larry Bird. He was given a small investment stake in the Charlotte Bobcats when Bob Johnson was selected to have the NBA franchise in Charlotte. Subsequently, Bob Johnson sold the team and ML Carr no longer has a relationship with the Bobcat franchise.