Adam Gold

The $15 North Carolina Tar Heels

Posted June 2, 2014

From the Vault: Michael Jordan at UNC

Amid the journey for LeBron James' third consecutive NBA title, or maybe the Hall of Fame trio of Tim Duncan, Manu Ginobili and Tony Parker chasing down a fourth to put a ribbon on a modern day dynasty that spanned more than a decade, the folks at gave us a beautiful diversion. From a list of the top five players, in their minds, at each of the five traditional positions, select the ultimate $15 team. At each position, the players are ranked 1-5, with each given a dollar value between $5 and $1 and it's your task to choose one player at each position for a $15 -- or less, if you want -- starting five. There are no bonus points for saving money for a bench as we're not playing a real game, so, spend right up to the cap.

So, what do they say about imitation being the best form of flattery? What do they say about outright stealing someone's idea? I think the latter is the best characterization of what we've done, and last week we presented both the $15 Duke Blue Devils and the $15 N.C. State Wolfpack. Each team was comprised of college basketball legends the likes of Bobby Hurley, Grant Hill, Christian Laettner, David Thompson, Rodney Monroe and Tommy Burleson.

Most fans had fun choosing their favorites, some even followed the rules of the exercise. Either way, two-thirds of the way through, the process of selecting the player pools has been more fun than I ever imagined, but when it came to parsing through the litany of Tar Heels stars this task morphed into one of the most eye-opening endeavors I've undertaken. I mean, how can you leave off seven consensus All-American players, including some of the greatest to play at their positions, not just at North Carolina, but across both college and the NBA?

That's the story of North Carolina Tar Heels basketball from Frank McGuire to Dean Smith to Roy Williams. As I did with the squads from Duke and N.C. State, I sought out Carolina historians to assist with player selections and, more importantly, slot them into the proper positions. So, after careful consideration and some serious gnashing of teeth, we present…..the $15 dollar North Carolina Tar Heels.


Phil Ford $5
Ty Lawson $4
Kenny Smith $3
Raymond Felton $2
Kendall Marshall $1

Also receiving votes were national champions Derrick Phelps and Jimmy Black, and Ed Cota, Carolina's career leader in assists and was part of three teams that reached the final four.

Michael Jordan $5
Charlie Scott $4
Donald Williams $3
Wayne Ellington $2
Hubert Davis $1

Also receiving votes were Jeff Lebo and Joseph Forte, the first of the consensus All-Americans to fail to make this cut.

Larry Miller $5
Mike O'Koren $4
Al Wood $3
Jerry Stackhouse $2
Pete Brennan $1

If you're wondering how Vince Carter, Walter Davis or Bobby Jones couldn't crack the starting line up, you're not alone. For a fleeting moment I thought Davis might be the $5 player here, then he's not on the team at all. Go figure.

Lennie Rosenbluth $5
James Worthy $4
Antawn Jamison $3
Billy Cunningham $2
Rasheed Wallace $1

Three of Carolina's eight retired numbers are in this group, so it helps to explain how a consensus All-American in J.R. Reid or a player the likes of George Lynch would fail to show up on the roster. Wait, I can get 'Sheed for a buck?

Tyler Hansbrough $5
Sam Perkins $4
Mitch Kupchack $3
Brad Daugherty $2
Bob McAdoo $1

Again, how can players like Eric Montross, Sean May and even Joe Wolf or Tyler Zeller have no chance? Such is the nature of more than a half century of Carolina basketball brilliance.

For the record, I only considered players in the ACC era, so apologies to the friends and families of Jack Cobb and George Glamack and their retired numbers. Though, in the case of Cobb, the program didn't have numbers in the 20s. So, along with the aforementioned pair, an additional 20 players who have honored jerseys in the Smith Center rafters were left out of the pool. Just incredible.

Your $15 North Carolina Tar Heels squad will undoubtedly be a power house. I mean, how can it not?

Here's mine…

Marshall ($1), Jordan ($5), Stackhouse ($2), Jamison ($3) and Perkins ($4)


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  • Alex25 Jun 6, 2014

    ESPN OTL 3PM Friday, today

  • Rodney Hill Jun 5, 2014
    user avatar

    I thought for sure this thread was going to be about $15 UNC Walmart fans... That would actually have been more interesting than this garbage.

  • Gonzo Jun 4, 2014

    View quoted thread

    "say it to my face" "coward" "meet me anywhere"
    I don't know where you're from, but that sounds like a prelude to me...
    Take off the clown shoes kid...

  • Hammerhead Jun 4, 2014

    View quoted thread

    That's funny. Guys challenging one another to "man up" over a fantasy sports team.

  • Eq Videri Jun 3, 2014
    user avatar

    OMG, what could be more important than this?!?

  • heelsforever Jun 3, 2014

    View quoted thread

    We were not given Bobby Jones or Walter Davis as options. IMO they should have been on the SF list instead of O'Koren and Brennan.

  • 1splintergroup Jun 3, 2014

    I'm a long time Wolfpack fan and really don't care to assemble a $15 dollar team for any of these schools including mine. But I must say, I'm totally shocked to see all of these listings excluding Sam Perkins. This guy was the coolest ever. I don't see anyone including Bobby Jones either? Maybe I'm old school, but Stackhouse, Wallace, Daugherty, Doherty, Lawson, Phelps, etc. cannot compare with these two guys.

  • jonbowens Jun 3, 2014

    Lawson, Jordan, Stackhouse, Wallace, Daugherty, a dollar left for a Coke for the assistant coach.

  • heelsforever Jun 3, 2014

    Loved it yesterday when Adam said he had a hard time coming up with 25 for d00k.

  • jjackflash1966 Jun 3, 2014

    Following these guidelines, the unbeatable team would be: $5 Jordan @ SG, $4 Worthy @ PF, (seriously, your team is already BEAT by now!), $2 Felton @ PG, $2 Stackhouse @ SF, & $2 Daugherty @ C.

    Now, IF I had my druthers & could deviate a bit, I'd construct THIS team: $5 Jordan, $4 Worthy, $4 Perkins @ C. $0 Jimmy Black @ PG, $0 Doherty at SF. With $2 still left, I'd pick up $1 Rasheed Wallace to back up Worthy & $1 Hubert Davis to spell Jordan. To round out my 10, I'd pick up as $0 -FREE AGENTS: Vince Carter (SF), Derrick Phelps (PG) & Eric Montross (C). I'd win "GM of the Year" in a landslide - just for acquiring 'Sheed at a $1 steal, & laugh my nuts off at all the 50-pt beatdowns my squad would inflict on everyone else's!!




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