UNC Vs. Duke: A Match-up of the Greatest Players in Each School’s History

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With all of the attention surrounding the rivalry between UNC and Duke after their matchup last week, I felt as though the analysis should continue by comparing the best players that both schools have had in their storied histories. As opposed to a general player ranking list, this contest will be based on which team has the best players to fill a traditional lineup card (with a point guard, shooting guard, small forward, power forward, center, and two bench positions). In this matchup there is no chance that Duke comes away with a miracle last second victory. In fact, much to the delight of UNC fans, the Heels have a dominating advantage on their side: a player by the name of Michael Jeffery Jordan.


PG      Kenny Smith                                    PPG 12.2       APG 5.5         RPG 2.0

While Kenny Smith’s career was not the most impressive that we have ever seen from a point guard, his 4,073 assist make him the best that the Tar Heels have seen come through their school. He received the nickname “The Jet” for his impressive speed, which he was able to utilize during his 10 year career. While a plethora of talented point guards during his time did not allow Smith to make an All-Star appearance, he was able to win two NBA Championships during his career. Smith now uses his in depth knowledge of the game as a famous analyst and broadcaster.

SG      Michael Jordan                               PPG 28.3       APG 4.9         RPG 4.9

The UNC Tar Heels have an advantage that no other basketball team in the country can stake claim to. They have the best player to ever play the game. Michael Jordan is hands down the greatest talent to ever take the court, and his accomplishments speak for themselves. “Air Jordan” is a six time NBA Champion, six time Finals MVP, five time NBA MVP, and 14 time All-Star. He also has a NCAA Division I National Championship to his credit, along with countless other accolades. While it would take an entire book to list all that Jordan has meant to the game of basketball, I will simply let his iconic name speak for itself.

SF       Vince Carter                                     PPG 21.9       APG 4.0         RPG 4.0

Vince Carter has compiled a legendary basketball career not only for his exceptional scoring ability, but for his amazing athleticism. Carter is regarded by many (including myself) as the best dunker in the history of the sport. He has made a name for himself with a vast array of gravity defying dunks and high flying playmaking abilities. He is an eight time NBA All-Star, former Rookie of the Year (in 1999), and won the only NBA Dunk Contest in which he competed in 2000.

PF       Bob McAdoo                                   PPG 22.1       BPG 1.5         RPG 9.4

Bob McAdoo is a player that you have to look back to the 1970’s to remember. While his career was not as recent as the other players on this list, McAdoo has perhaps compiled the most impressive career in history for a UNC big man. While he was a bit undersized for a center (standing at 6-9) McAdoo was still able to establish himself as a dominate rebounder. During his career, he won two NBA titles and was a five time All-Star, while adding a league MVP and Rookie of the year award to his resume.

C         Rasheed Wallace                           PPG 14.6       BPG 1.3         RPG 6.7

Rasheed Wallace was able to put up a great career during his playing days, but is a player that I have always felt was unable to reach his full potential. Wallace used his tremendous size and length to become one of the best low post scorers and defenders of his time. That in combination with his excellent shooting ability (he had a .337 three point shooting percentage during his NBA career) made Wallace impossible to guard. However, due to his noted attitude issues (Wallace holds the all-time records for most technical fouls as a player and most technical fouls in a single season) he was never able to dominate in the same way the a player like Kareem Abdual Jabbar or Michael Jordan. While he was still able to win an NBA title and play in four All-Star games, I can’t help but wonder what he could have been.

BN      James Worthy (SF)                        PPG 17.6       APG 3.0         RPG 5.1

During a career in which he compiled three NBA Championships, one NCAA Division I Championship, and seven NBA All-Star appearances, James Worthy has undoubtedly established himself as one of the all-time greats.

BN      Antawn Jamison (PF)                    PPG 19.6       BPG 0.4         RPG 7.9

Antawn Jamison is known around the NBA for being a great scorer and rebounder. However, it is the odd manner in which he scores his points that draws the most attention. His unique array of behind the back hook shots and one handed floaters off the backboard have allowed him to go to two All-Star games and win the 2006 Sixth Man of the Year award.

 Duke’s all time roster plus my take on how this game would turn out after the break