North Carolina is home to some of the best talent that basketball has ever seen. Similar to our “All-Chicago” team, this blog will attempt to create a fantasy team composed of the best players from The Tar Heel State. This lineup features versatile wings capable of defensively switching across multiple positions, as well as some of the greatest scorers in the history of the NBA.
Starting Five and Sixth Man
Point Guard – Stephen Curry
As one of the greatest point guards ever, Steph Curry has a lot to bring to any team. His unmatched range forces opposing defenders to pick him up from the moment he crosses half court, and his ability to handle and distribute the ball to his teammates make Curry a threat in any offensive situation.
Shooting Guard – Michael Jordan
The GOAT. The Black Cat. His Airness. MJ. Air Jordan. Nobody needs to be reminded how good Mike was. However, take a moment to think about how a Curry/Jordan backcourt would perform. The greatest three-point shooter to play the game paired with the greatest player of all time. Opposing backcourts would often be left with the impossible decision of leaving Curry open to send a double-team at Jordan, or letting Jordan go to work in 1-on-1 situations.
Small Forward – David Thompson
David “Skywalker” Thompson is one of the most underrated scorers of all-time. Thompson lived up to his nickname with his nearly superhuman vertical leap. Paired with Jordan, this high-flying wing duo can dunk amongst anybody. Thompson averaged more than 25 PPG in several season throughout his career and boasts a single-game high of 73 points.
Power Forward – James Worthy
Three-time NBA Champion and 1988 Finals MVP James Worthy is traditionally a small forward, but at 6’9” with good upper body strength he can play the 4 on this team. “Big Game James” was a clutch performer who showed out in the playoffs. Worthy averaged 21 points per game on 55% shooting in the postseason. In Game 7 of the 1988 Finals, James Worthy scored 36 points, 16 rebounds, and 10 assists to defeat the Detroit Pistons. Big Game James was a strong and crafty finisher capable of acrobatic layups, or simply using his strength to dunk over opposing defenders.
Center – Bob McAdoo
In 1975, Bob McAdoo averaged 34.5 points, 14 rebounds, and 3 combined blocks/steals per game on his way to winning the NBA MVP Award. McAdoo led the league in points per game 3 years in a row, with more than 30 PPG in each of those seasons. At 6’9” McAdoo was not a particularly tall center, but skill and athleticism led the way for his success. McAdoo had a great jumpshot for a big man in his era and was strong in the post, he was a prototype for the small ball stretch bigs we see in today’s NBA.
6th Man – Chris Paul
Chris Paul is one of the best examples of a textbook point guard. CP3 has led the NBA in assists four times and has averaged above 10 assists per game in six different seasons. Paul also has led the league in steals in six separate seasons and has been selected to the All-Defense 1st team seven times. Chris Paul is a true floor general who can create shots for his teammates as well as himself and is a great fit on this team.
“Sweet” Lou Hudson is a combo guard capable of scoring in multiple ways and would provide a good burst off the bench for this squad. With a deep 1-on-1 package featuring fast moves to the basket and a consistent jumpshot, Lou Hudson is a bucket.
Walt Bellamy averaged 31 points and 19 rebounds per game as a rookie in 1962. His role on this as a rebounder and rim protector on this team is crucial, as he is the only player above 6’9” (Bellamy was 6’11”). Bellamy was able to hold his own during a golden era of great centers that included Wilt Chamberlain, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, and Bill Russell.
Sam Jones was a 10-time NBA Champion with the Boston Celtics during the Bill Russell era. He was often the leading scorer on those teams, largely in part to his deadly jumpshot. Jones was relatively athletic at his time and was able to run the floor, rebound, and defend reasonably well amongst his position.
“The Secretary of Defense” certainly lived up to his nickname. Bobby Jones would regularly jump into passing lanes and get steals, as well as seemingly coming out of nowhere to block layup attempts. Jones was selected to the All-Defensive First Team in eight consecutive seasons and is often referred to as the best defender in the early 1980s. In 1983 Bobby Jones was named the first recipient of the Sixth Man of the Year Award and also won the NBA Finals with the Philadelphia 76ers.
What are your thoughts on this team? Can they be successful despite their lack of size? Would they beat the All-Chicago Team? Share your thoughts with us on Instagram or Twitter!