MCW is in the Playoffs

mcw76ers-media-dayeditedMichael Carter-Williams and his Milwaukee Bucks are down 2-0 in their 1st round playoff series against the Chicago Bulls and even though Game 3 is in Milwaukee, the odds of the Bucks coming back to win this series are long.  Still, as Carter Williams sat in front of his locker in the bowels of the Wells Fargo Center back on April 13th and spoke to the media, first few inquiries revolved around the progress of his own game, his teammates’, and the organization’s solid season.

Such questions had become a familiar refrain for the former 76er.  However, after the Milwaukee Bucks bested the Sixers ten days ago in the season’s second-to-last regular season game, the questions Carter-Williams faced quickly took on a very different tone.

“It’s really exciting,” he replied when asked about his upcoming inaugural playoff appearance.

“It’s my first playoffs and a lot of these guys first playoffs,” he furthered, nodding his head toward his teammates.

 

 

Next to him, OJ Mayo and Jerryd Bayless poured over their cell phones, trying to figure out exactly which team had the upper hand in the race for the East’s final playoff spot.

“Indiana still has a shot, but they have to win out,” Mayo explained to a seemingly-perplexed Bayless.

The excitement of the approaching playoffs was nearly palpable.

“You know, from where they came from last year to be going to the playoffs now has been really unbelievable,” Carter-Williams continued. “I’m glad to be a part of it.”

A few short months ago – any time before February 19’s trade deadline – it is safe to say that Carter-Williams, despite high expectations for the future, didn’t expect to be participating in the playoffs this season.  The trade that sent him to Milwaukee came as a surprise, but Carter-Williams holds no ill will towards his first franchise or its fan base, and remains appreciative of his time in Philadelphia.  The feeling is mutual, as the organization honored Carter-Williams’ tenure with the team with a short tribute video during a first quarter timeout.

“That was great,” Carter-Williams said, smiling. “I didn’t really see [the tribute video] at the time or else I would have acknowledged the crowd. But, it’s unbelievable, I’m thankful for it, and I appreciate it. As much as they appreciate me, I appreciate them.”

In a town notoriously tough on its ex-athletes, Carter-Williams seemed almost relieved by his reception.

“I had no idea [what to expect]. You know, I was only here for a year and a half, so I didn’t know what it was going to be like, but I’m happy for it.”

Carter-Williams spent several minutes prior to tip-off catching up with his old coach Brett Brown, and a few of his old teammates like Nerlens Noel, Joel Embiid, and Jerami Grant, who Carter-Williams plans to work out with over the summer. Though they are no longer united in a quest for a common goal, the respect remains. When asked if he was glad to get the at time emotionally-draining homecoming game out of the way, Carter-Williams replied:

“I was just happy to be here to see my old teammates and old coaches.”

While Carter-Williams will get the first taste of the NBA’s second season, if all goes according to plan, his old coaches and teammates in Philadelphia won’t be too far behind.

 

 

Michael Kaskey-Blomain is a scribe for Philadunkia.  You can follow him on Twitter @therealmikeKB.

You can follow us on Twitter @philadunkia.

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