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Visit Max.com. It's the JR Sportbree show here with you on CBS Sports Radio. Yeah, we're getting ready for the NBA Finals, but we have to bring on an NBA player.
We have to bring on one of the emerging stars in the league right now. We're going down to Orlando, but right now we're here in Atlanta to talk to a native. It's my main man Wendell Carter Jr. Wendell, how you doing, man?
Man, I'm good, man. Pleasure for y'all having me. No doubt about it. You have something pretty awesome that's going to happen here in Atlanta, and I think we got a lot of cities that could probably follow the lead. You got a basketball camp, but it also has an educational element. We're going to get into that. NBA Finals.
Underway. You got a Jokic here, you got a Jimmy Butler here, you play down in Florida, other side of Florida. What are your thoughts on the finals, man? It's going to be a good one. I think it's going to be one of those series that probably goes all seven. It's a lot of talent out there, a lot of hard workers.
In my opinion, I think it goes to the seventh game, and honestly, you can flip a coin to see who wins at that point. You're a big dude in the league, man. You got to face and look at Jokic. He's one of the best passing bigs of all time. How do you stop him or slow him down?
Is it impossible? He's like a wide MCA player just busting everybody's ass. Absolutely. He's one of those guys, when everybody asks him who's the hardest to guard, I always say Jokic because he affects the game in so many different ways. He can score all three levels, and his passing is off the charts. He has a team that's around him who believes in him, believes in his style of play.
It just makes the game a lot more easy, a lot more free for him. Jokic is one of those guys. But he's not jumping out the gym. He's not running by you. He's not out jumping you.
So what is it? Is it just skill? Is it footwork? Is it his brain?
How does he just do that? Footwork I think is one of his biggest things. Definitely can't run fast. He can't jump that high. His IQ for the game is really, really high. And I think he's gotten to the point, in my opinion, for my five years being in the league, where he doesn't care. He doesn't care if he makes a mistake, but he's going to make the right play every time. So I think he's developed that as he's been in the league for however many years. I feel like he can still get even better in my opinion.
Wow, that's crazy. Wendell Carter Jr. is here with us at the JR Sport Reshow on CBS Sports Radio. You talk about five years being in the league. Time flies now, doesn't it, man? You started with the Bulls.
You're now with the Magic. How has that process been over five? Honestly, man, I feel like just yesterday I remember getting drafted, walking across the stage, shaking Adam Silver's hand. Now I look up, I'm five years in, going into my sixth year.
It's just a blessing. I thank God every day for him putting me in this position, being able to play the game I love. I just try to go out there and do the best I can, man. There's a lot of people who want to be in my position, so I take a lot of pride in just how I approach the game, how I train for it in the offseason. I try to just give them my all every year. Over those five years, multiple offseasons, what does that look like for you to improve as a basketball player?
Then I want to ask you how you feel you've grown in five years as a person. As a basketball player, I think you pay attention to the game, right? The game revolutionizes yourself in so many different ways every year. It went from you want a big who can battle in the paint, so now all biz can shoot, to we look at guys like Victor that's coming in next year.
They want big guys. Oh, Juan Beñamo? Yeah. He make you and me look short.
Absolutely. The league has changed so much every year, so you just got to try to find a way to catch the wave. Each year I just try to improve my game little by little. How do you feel you've changed and grown as a person? The hope as a human is that every year you get a little better, you get a little smarter, you make better decisions. Life comes at you fast when you get into the league, and exposure, things that you see and used to. How have you changed as a person in five years? After being drafted to Chicago, a relatively popular city, I kind of saw everything in my rookie year, from money to whatever you can think of. I can think of a lot of things you might have seen. Sorry, my bad.
Go ahead. No, but I've definitely been around a lot. I've had great vets while I was in Chicago, so they was able to teach me the ropes a little bit. As a person, man, I just got to the point where it's always about giving back. Basketball is my true love. I love the game.
I will love it forever. But I feel like you don't really make an impact until you're helping the person behind you, and they help the person behind them. I think that's what life is all about. I think in that way, I've grown. I'm a lot wiser, a lot more mature. A lot of decisions that I'm making now, I probably wouldn't have made when I was in my first year coming in.
I've definitely changed a lot, for sure. Wendell Carter Jr. is here with us at the JR Sport Brief Show on CBS Sports Radio. When you talk about giving back, you're from here in Atlanta, went to Pace Academy. What's going on on Saturday where you're giving back through basketball and education?
Tell us about that. This is my second annual camp on Saturday, June the 3rd. I'm having some kids from my middle school, some kids from my high school all come in for a camp. We're running from 8 to 4 p.m. To start off the day, we're starting with education, financial literacy, and African American studies. Two things I feel like isn't taught as much in our school systems. One of them they're trying to erase completely, but that's the topic for another day.
I know what you're talking about, especially now with some guy in Florida. Those are two things I feel like aren't really taught enough, particularly financial literacy. I feel like that's something that early on kids can learn a lot. Not necessarily have to be an investment banker, but at least know checks and balances, how to save money, how to spend it. When you get a check, how much are you really getting, taxes, things like that. That's kind of what I see the benefit in showing kids how money actually works, because a lot of them don't know.
I didn't know. Of course, allowing them to play some basketball, get up and down, run around, have fun. I just want to be able to show them the life of being a student athlete, because that's kind of what it is. You go to class, you got to hoop, you go to class, you got to hoop. And then just being a professional. I think one of the biggest things I can say when it comes to being a professional, you got to do things you don't want to do. I didn't want to go to class, but I did it. I didn't want to get up in the morning and work out, but I did it. And now I'm able to reap the rewards for that. So that's kind of my main goal for the camp, for sure.
Wendell Carter Jr. is here with us, CBS Sports Radio, the JR Sport Brief Show. What was that driving factor, though? Like, there are basketball camps going on all over the country, all over the world, and you don't get an education element to it.
What was the light bulb? Was it one particular instance, or was this over a course of time where you said, I want the students, the kids, to actually come in and learn something and ball? Honestly, I give a lot of credit to my mom. Growing up, I couldn't play basketball unless I came home with all A's.
So she instilled in me early, education before anything. And I just see it as something that, first, for my camp is different. You know, I don't want to be the normal, kids got to pay to come in, to play basketball a little bit, and then go home. You know, first off, none of the kids are paying. I don't see this as a financial gain at all.
You know, I just want kids to be able to come in and relax, you know, because a lot of the kids that's coming, you know, they come from rough backgrounds, you know, telling them what's going on in their homes and things like that. So I just see it as an opportunity to just help out. If I can just help out by one percent, I feel like I've won, for sure.
Nah, that's a win. I think everything is all about giving back. Where can people find out more information?
They can go to PlatformSquared.org, sign up there. They can see more about my foundation, more about the other things I've done in the community, both in Orlando and Atlanta. So, yeah, that's about it. Speaking of Orlando, not a lot of people have been talking about y'all, especially the way the season started last year. For sure. And the way the season ended.
Yeah. We see Paulo. We see Cole. We see you.
We got Suggs. I'm going to start leaving folks out. Franz, y'all got a lot of talent on the team. For sure. What's going to change, and how are y'all going to sneak up on people?
What don't folks know about the Magic? Oh, we coming. We got a squad, and I think our biggest thing last year was injuries. With us being such a young group, I don't want to say you expect that, but it's a different type of play.
You come from college or wherever they came from, and they come into the league playing 82 games. You're playing every other night, so it's a little shock to the body, but I feel like going into next year, we've made a pledge to one another that we at least come into the year healthy, feeling good, and I think the sky's the limit for us, man. We got a group of young guys who have no egos. All of our goal is to win. We're watching these playoffs.
We're all hitting each other. Man, this can be us. This can be us as soon as next year. We ain't got to wait. Let's do it. So I think we're going to be good. Wendell Carter Jr.'s here with us, CBS Sports Radio.
I was going to ask you that. Part of the process I feel for a young team is you finally get to the playoffs. You get with that taste of experiences.
Sometimes you get punched in the mouth, and you come back stronger. When you're sitting down, and you're watching these NBA Finals, and you're watching these playoffs, is it motivating you to go to the gym? Are you picking up things on how these teams play?
What's the biggest element you get from just watching? The style of play is so much different. I've actually been to a playoff game last year.
I think it was Dallas versus Phoenix, and I think it was a game 7-2. When I say the energy, it's so much different from the fans, the players. The players are chirping back and forth.
The fans are in the stands going at each other. It's a whole different type of energy, and I just want to be a part of it at some point. You're from here in Atlanta.
A totally different energy. It's cool that you're bringing your academy and camp here on Saturday. What has Atlanta done for you?
How has it shaped you as a person and who you are today? Where did I start? Atlanta is home. When I come home, I see so many people.
I can just go to the grocery store, and see the person that I met when I was 11 or 12 years old. They all support me. They're all behind me. I can't ask for much more than that. I can dig it. The magic is coming. Your camp is coming. Tell everybody one more time how they can check it out and find out more information. At platformsquared.org, you can find out more about my foundation, the camp this Saturday, and everything else.
Good on this man, doing something good for the community. You heard it here first. We see the nuggets. We see the magic. The magic is coming.
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