Austin George Carr (born March 10, 1948) is an American retired professional basketball player who played for the Cleveland Cavaliers, Dallas Mavericks, and Washington Bullets of the National Basketball Association (NBA).
Carr moved onto the professional ranks as the first overall selection of the Cleveland Cavaliers in the 1971 NBA Draft. Carr was also selected in the 1971 ABA Draft by the Virginia Squires, but signed with the Cavaliers on April 5, 1971.
Carr’s first season in the NBA was marred by a series of injuries that limited his output. During the 1971 preseason, he broke his foot and missed the first month of the season. Less than one month after returning to the court, he was sidelined again by another foot injury, missing another seven weeks. Upon his return, he began to display the skills which made him the top selection in the NBA draft and was named to the 1972 NBA All-Rookie Team. Following the conclusion of his first season, Carr had surgery to clear up any lingering foot problems.
The arrival of Lenny Wilkens prior to the start of the 1972–73 campaign gave Carr a solid partner in the backcourt, helping the Cavaliers improve by nine games in the win column. Carr’s best season came the following year, when he averaged a career-best 21.9 points, 3.6 rebounds and 3.8 assists per game while shooting 85.6% from the free-throw line.
Two months into the 1974–75 season, he suffered a knee injury that put him out of the lineup indefinitely. His absence in the lineup likely prevented the Cavaliers’ from capturing their first-ever playoff berth, with the team’s bid falling one game short.
Carr played out his final season with the Dallas Mavericks and Washington Bullets before retiring in 1981, finishing with career averages of 15.4 points, 2.9 rebounds and 2.8 assists per game.
Today, Carr serves as the Director of Community Relations for the Cavaliers and is also a color commentator on the team’s broadcasts on Fox Sports Ohio. Carr’s #34 is one of seven jerseys retired by the Cavaliers.
It was announced on April 2, 2007, that Carr was inducted to the second class of the College Basketball Hall of Fame, along with Dick Groat, Dick Barnett and numerous coaches.
On February 21, 2008, Notre Dame recognized Carr, their all-time leading scorer, during the Pittsburgh – Notre Dame men’s basketball game.
He is known by Cleveland basketball fans as “Mr. Cavalier”.
Career highlights and awards
NBA All-Star (1974)
NBA All-Rookie First Team (1972)
J. Walter Kennedy Citizenship Award (1980)
No. 34 retired by the Cleveland Cavaliers
Naismith College Player of the Year (1971)
AP Player of the Year (1971)
Helms Foundation Player of the Year (1971)
UPI Player of the Year (1971)
Consensus first-team All-American (1971)
Consensus second-team All-American (1970)
Points 10,473 (15.4 ppg)
Rebounds 1,990 (2.9 rpg)
Assists 1,878 (2.8 apg)