Joe Barry Carroll (1958–)

Joe Barry Carroll had an eleven-year career with the National Basketball Association (NBA), playing on the NBA All-Star team.

Joe Barry Carroll was born on July 24, 1958, in Pine Bluff (Jefferson County), the tenth of thirteen children. He and his family stayed there until he was thirteen, when they moved to Denver, Colorado. Attending Denver East High School, he became a basketball star who caught the attention of college recruiters. He accepted a scholarship to Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana, and played there from 1976 to 1980. During his tenure there, the seven-foot-tall Carroll became the only Purdue player to earn a “triple-double,” with sixteen points, sixteen rebounds, and eleven blocked shots. During his junior year, he helped his team make it to the National Invitational Tournament (NIT) finals. The next year, he led his team to the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) finals and was also named a first team All-American. He graduated from Purdue with a degree in economics.

In 1980, Carroll was the number-one draft pick chosen by the Golden State Warriors. In his first NBA season, he was chosen as an All Rookie First Team Center, averaging 18.9 points and 9.3 rebounds. Over the next ten years, he played in Italy and with the Houston Rockets, the New Jersey Nets, the Denver Nuggets, and the Phoenix Suns. He was a member of the NBA All-Star team and played in several NBA play-off games.

Some controversy surrounded Carroll during his career, as he was often criticized for a lack of intensity and motivation; some fans coined him “Joe Barely Cares” or “Just Barely Carroll.” The perception was probably fed by the fact that he often declined interviews, therefore bypassing opportunities to shape his image with the media. Others argue that Carroll was anything but lazy, racking up an impressive set of career statistics.

Carroll retired from basketball in 1991 and moved to Atlanta, Georgia.

In the mid-1980s, he founded the nonprofit Broadview Foundation to serve organizations and programs for people from low-income backgrounds and communities of color. Through the work of this foundation, Carroll helped to provide funding for college scholarships, Children of Imprisoned Mothers, the Georgia Innocence Project, the National Public Radio (NPR) station of Atlanta, and Kenny Leon’s True Colors Theater. In May 2014, Carroll received the Champion for Justice Award from the Atlanta Braves and the Center for Civil and Human Rights.

Carroll has a strong interest in the visual arts, maintaining a board membership with the Museum of Contemporary Art of Georgia and pursuing his own art. In 2014, he published a memoir, Growing Up…In Words and Images.

Carroll lives with his wife in Atlanta and works as an investment advisor with the Carroll Group, which he founded in 1993.

For additional information:
Carroll, Joe Barry. Growing Up…In Words and Images. Atlanta, GA: Joe Barry Carroll Publishing, 2014.

Joe Barry Carroll. (accessed September 28, 2021).

Soonachan, Irv. “The Ballad of Joe Barry Carroll.” Slam. (accessed September 28, 2021).

Jimmy Cunningham
Nashville, Tennessee


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