Brooklyn Nets forward DeMarre Carroll wrote a lengthy and heartfelt Instagram post reflecting on his basketball journey, his first season with the Nets, how the city of Brooklyn and the team welcomed him, and how he is in an ideal place mentally and physically as he looks forward to the 2018-19 campaign:
The message read as follows:
"Life for me has been a journey. Life for me this past year has been an adventurous one. From the moment I was traded last year I was filled with mixed emotions. I was frustrated I never could perform to my highest level those two years. I was excited to have a new opportunity with familiar faces. I realized everything happens for a reason and this was just another obstacle, I would get through with my heart and soul.
"The moment I got to the city of Brooklyn I looked around and immediately saw people working on the road. It was that moment I felt the Brooklyn grit and what Brooklyn meant to a lot of people. The Nets organization welcomed me with open arms and told me not to worry about the past. Let’s get to work! From that day, I worked hard and trained. I worked every day on my physical and mental game.
"The season got off to a decent start for me. I was feeling great and I was in the right mindset. I felt we had a lot of potential and guys really dedicated themselves to the grind. Throughout the year we were hit with a lot of injuries and adversity that we couldn't control.
"Overall we worked hard every day given the circumstances and made improvements together. Although we didn't win as many games as I'm used to, I still feel this was one of my best seasons from a physical and mental aspect. This probably was the best my body has felt in my nine years in the league.
"The Brooklyn fanbase has supported me and embraced me. I'm thankful for all my little brothers in that locker room. I feel without the fans, the organization and my teammates I would never overcome how I felt the past two years. With that being said, I'm excited about next year and look forward to getting better. I look forward to leading my brothers to something special. Have a great offseason."
He made the Eastern Conference Finals with the Hawks in 2015 and the Raptors in 2016 but dealt with injuries and played just 26 regular-season games in 2015-16. He also criticized Toronto's isolation-heavy offense when he was traded and pointed to the mixed emotions he felt after the move in his Instagram message.
Although the Nets were just 28-54 this season, Carroll averaged career highs of 13.5 points and 6.6 rebounds per game and appeared in 73 contests, all as a starter.
He is set to become an unrestricted free agent following the 2018-19 campaign, per Spotrac, but he appears comfortable in Brooklyn.