DeMarre Carroll has a big smile, a lot of energy and quickness and, yes, those remarkable dreads that set him apart from most basketball players. Until recently, he spent most of his time cheering on his Utah Jazz teammates and learning the team's plays. But this past week, Jazz beat writer Jody Genessy caught up with the third-year small forward, who signed with Utah on Feb. 8, after Carroll finally got a chance to contribute some meaningful minutes on the court with the ballclub.
Q: What is your impression of Utah after a month and a half of being here?
A: Great people. You don't get no fans like this wherever. Wherever you go, they're going to greet you. They're going to always know who you are. Even if you're the last man on the bench, they're still going to know. It's great. We've got a good, young team — a good, young coaching staff.
Q: What has it meant to you to finally get some playing time with the Jazz?
A: It means a lot, just to be out there and do what you love to do and that's play basketball. It means a lot, especially to me and my confidence. My objective here is to go out there (and play). My team look for me to be a lock-down defender, a guy to come in there with energy (and) along with that be able to put the ball in the hoop. You can't just be one-dimensional. I'm just happy for the opportunity.
Q: Is there anything that has surprised you about your teammates and the Jazz?
A: Unselfishness. There's a lot of guys on the team that move the ball. Most teams you've got guys or a star player who go one-on-one all the time. This team, you kick it into Big Al, he's going to kick it back out to you if he's double-teamed. We've got a good, young team. Nobody get mad at each other. Nobody hold grudges. If somebody (gets) mad with somebody, it's over with that day. It's over with that game. The next day everybody (is) back happy, and Jeremy Evans is smiling and making everybody laugh.
Q: How long have you had your hair in dreadlocks? Does that give you a Sampson effect?Comment on this story
A: It happened when I was in college, actually at Vanderbilt (before Missouri). My mom said ... I couldn't get haircuts before games. (She told me), 'You look like you're sluggish. You're an energy guy and you've always been an energy guy.' I just decided to grow it out (and thought), 'OK, if you don't want me to get no more haircut, I won't get no more haircut.' I just grow it out and it's been a trademark since.
Q: The other day on Twitter, you talked about getting a trim. Did you cut your dreAds?
A: (I was) getting my beard fixed. (At Memphis) Tony Allen said don't sleep, shave or bathe until you see better days. Being on the bench (in Utah), I was just like, I'm not going to shave. I'm going to keep working until I get my opportunity. I finally got my opportunity so I (told myself), 'Let me go and get an edge up.'