Two seasons ago, DeMarre Carroll agreed to a 2-year, 5 million dollar deal, moved to Atlanta, and then we all waited for the deal to become official. It took a while because the Hawks were waiting to see if they were going to sign Carroll using cap space, or with the Room Exception. This wasn't an issue for Carroll because, as we came to understand about him, he didn't put himself above the team.
We immediately saw the specialness of this guy and when he played, in games that would turn out to be his last as a Hawk, with a busted knee, with free agency looming, it cemented his legacy, short as it was, in Atlanta.
Carroll has already spoken to the AJC about his departure, but he took to The Players Tribune to say one final goodbye.
He says thank you to just about everybody in Atlanta, including the fans, who he saved for last.
I will always be thankful for the way this city treated me on and off the court. This was the first time in my career where I really felt like a household name. I can't describe how much it meant to me every time a fan would approach me in public just to say that they loved the way I played the game. You guys always made me feel like a superstar, so I hustled as hard as I could to play like one. When I looked into the crowd and saw those #5 jerseys and Junkyard Dog t-shirts, it meant everything to me. Without you guys, I really don't believe I'd be the player I am today.
I loved what DeMarre brought to the team and glad he got a generational changing contract from Toronto. He will get nothing but love from me and a lot of other Hawks fans every time we get to see him.
Thank you, DeMarre. See you down the road.