Carroll was selected by the Golden State Warriors with the first overall pick of the 1980 NBA Draft. Many have labeled Carroll as one of the biggest busts in NBA Draft history, giving him the nicknames “Joe Barely Cares” and “Just Barely Carroll” for his perceived indifference to the game. A great deal of Carroll’s negative press, however, can reasonably be attributed by the fact that he often declined interviews and the fact that the Warriors traded Robert Parish and the draft choice used to select Kevin McHale to theBoston Celtics for the first overall pick used to select Carroll. During his first few seasons, however, Carroll was actually a very productive player. He averaged 18.9 points and 9.3 rebounds as a rookie. He scored a game high of 46 points and led the Warriors with 121 blocks during his first season, while being named an NBA All-Rookie First Teamselection.
Two seasons later, he averaged a career high 24.1 points to go along with 8.7 rebounds. On March 5, 1983, he scored 52 points against the Utah Jazz. Carroll raised some eyebrows for leaving the Warriors in 1984 to play in Italy for Simac Milano. With Simac Milano, he won both the Campionato Italiano and the FIBA Korac Cup.
He returned to the NBA for the 1985–86 season and averaged 21.2 points for two consecutive seasons under head coach George Karl. He was named to the 1987 NBA All-Star Game, where he scored 4 points and had 6 rebounds in 18 minutes. Joe Barry played in his first playoff game against the Utah Jazz in the 1987 NBA Playoffs, where he helped lead the team to the Western Conference Semifinals, losing to eventual champions, the Los Angeles Lakers.
Throughout his career as a Warrior, he is a top ten career franchise leader in defensive rebounds (3rd), offensive rebounds (4th), points per game (8th), total points (9th) and steals (9th). He scored at least 1,000 points in each of his seasons as a Warrior. He left Golden State as the franchise leader in blocks with 837, which is currently the second most behind Adonal Foyle‘s 1,090 from 1997 to 2007.
After his last full season with the Warriors in the 1986-87 season, his production began to decline. In December, 1987, he was traded with Sleepy Floyd to the Houston Rocketsfor Ralph Sampson and Steve Harris to play under head coach Bill Fitch. Carroll averaged just 12.7 points during that season, where he averaged 20 or more a game the four prior seasons. He helped lead the Rockets to an NBA Playoff appearance, losing to the Dallas Mavericks in the first round.
Carroll was traded to the New Jersey Nets for the 1988–89 season, where he averaged 14.1 points a game and shot 80 percent from the free throw line. He was traded in middle of the 1989–90 season to the Denver Nuggets for Michael Cutright on February 21, 1990, where he averaged 10 points a game and appeared in the first round of the 1990 NBA Playoffs, losing to the San Antonio Spurs. Joe Barry Carroll played his last NBA season for the Phoenix Suns. Only playing in 11 games and averaging 3.4 points, he shot a career high .917 percent from the line.
Smallthoughts: Old School Tuesday salutes…Joe Barry Carroll
|1980–1983||Golden State Warriors|
|1984–1985||Simac Milano (Italy)|
|1985–1987||Golden State Warriors|
|1988–1990||New Jersey Nets|
|Career highlights and awards|
|Career NBA statistics|
|Points||12,455 (17.7 ppg)|
|Rebounds||5,404 (7.7 rpg)|
|Blocks||1,121 (1.6 bpg)|
|Stats at Basketball-Reference.com|