Acquired by the Lakers from the Chicago Stags before the 1948-49 season, Carlson was part of the Lakers’ first two championship teams, playing in 132 games from 1948 to 1950. A high school standout in the Minneapolis area who became a star at the University of Minnesota, Carlson started at guard during the 1948-49 season, averaging 9.2 points per game.
Carlson’s numbers declined the next season and he signed with Washington in December 1950. He played in nine games with the Capitols before retiring from professional basketball. Carlson became a high school basketball coach in Columbia Heights, Minn., before his death in 2004 at 83.