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Tobacco Road’s NBA Success

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Taking a look at Wake Forest, Duke, UNC, and NC State players in the NBA since 2000.

NBA: New York Knicks at Cleveland Cavaliers Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

Author’s Note: All players to play at least one NBA game since 2000 are listed, however awards earned prior to the year 2000 are not included.

The NBA Playoffs are in full swing, so I thought it would be a good time to compare the success of the Tobacco Road schools in the NBA. Full disclosure-if you are not a huge fan of numbers, this article will probably not interest you very much.

In looking at the numbers, the first thing that jumps out to me is that it is clear that NC State is far behind the other three schools in terms of success at the next level. I think most readers will come to the same conclusion in reading below. Wake Forest has a huge advantage in being able to claim some guy you may or may not have heard of named Duncan.

First I will list players from each team who have played in at least one NBA game since the year 2000.

Wake Forest: Tim Duncan, Josh Howard, Darius Songaila, Chris Paul, Jeff Teague, James Johnson, Al-Farouq Aminu, Ish Smith, Rodney Rogers, Muggsy Bogues, Rusty LaRue

Duke: Quinn Cook, Seth Curry, Luol Deng, Mike Dunleavy, Gerald Henderson, Rodney Hood, Brandon Ingram, Kyrie Irving, Dahntay Jones, Tyus Jones, Ryan Kelly, Josh McRoberts, Jabari Parker, Jahlil Okafor, Marshall Plumlee, Mason Plumlee, Miles Plumlee, J.J. Redick, Austin Rivers, Lance Thomas, Kyle Singler, Justise Winslow, William Avery, Shane Battier, Elton Brand, Carlos Boozer, Andre Dawkins, Chris Duhon, Daniel Ewing, Danny Ferry, Grant Hill, Christian Laettner, Trajan Langdon, Corey Maggette, DeMarcus Nelson, Cherokee Parks, Shavlik Randolph, Nolan Smith, Jay Williams, Shelden Williams

North Carolina: Harrison Barnes, Reggie Bullock, Vince Carter, Ed Davis, Wayne Ellington, Raymond Felton, Danny Green, John Henson, Brice Johnson, Ty Lawson, James Michael McAdoo, Marvin Williams, Tyler Zeller, Hubert Davis, Joseph Forte, Rick Fox, P.J. Hairston, Tyler Hansbrough, Brendan Haywood, Antawn Jamison, Michael Jordan, George Lynch, Kendall Marshall, Sean May, Rashad McCants, Jeff McInnis, Eric Montross, David Noel, Alex Stepheson, Jerry Stackhouse, Rasheed Wallace, Jawad Williams, Scott Williams, Shammond Williams

NC State: T.J. Warren, Chucky Brown, Lorenzo Brown, Vinny Del Negro, Todd Fuller, Anthony Grundy, Tom Gugliotta, Adam Harrington, J.J. Hickson, Julius Hodge, Dennis Horner, Josh Powell, Cedric Simmons

Now let’s take a look at awards by school, both individual and team:

Wake Forest:

  • 4 NBA Championships (Tim Duncan with the San Antonio Spurs in 2003, 2005, 2007, 2014)
  • 2 Most Valuable Player Awards (Duncan in 2002, 2003)
  • 2 NBA Finals Most Valuable Player Awards (Duncan in 2003, 2005)
  • 24 NBA All Star Game Appearances (Duncan 14, Chris Paul 9, Jeff Teague in 2015, Josh Howard in 2007)
  • 2 All Star Game Most Valuable Player Awards (Duncan in 2000, Paul in 2013)
  • 12 All NBA First Team Selections (Duncan 8 times, Paul 4 times)
  • 6 All NBA Second Team Selections (Duncan 3 times, Paul 3 times)
  • 3 All NBA Third Team Selections (Duncan 2, Paul in 2011)
  • 13 All NBA Defensive First Team Selections (Duncan 7 times, Paul 6 times)
  • 8 All NBA Defensive Second Team Selections (Duncan 6 times, Paul 2)
  • NBA Rookie of the Year (Paul in 2006)
  • NBA All Rookie First Team (Paul in 2006)
  • NBA All Rookie Second Team (Howard in 2004)
  • 6 Time NBA Leader in Steals (Paul)
  • 4 Time NBA Leader in Assists (Paul)
  • Sixth Man of the Year (Rodney Rogers in 2000)
  • NBA Teammate of the Year (Duncan in 2015)
  • NBA Shooting Stars Champion (Duncan in 2008)
  • Jersey Retired by an NBA Franchise (Tim Duncan’s #21 by the San Antonio Spurs)
  • 2 Olympic Gold Medals (Paul for Team USA in 2008 and 2012)
  • 2 Olympic Bronze Medals (Duncan for Team USA in 2004, Darius Songaila for Lithuania in 2000)

Duke:

  • 5 NBA Championships (Danny Ferry with the San Antonio Spurs in 2003, Kyrie Irving and Dahntay Jones with the Cleveland Cavaliers in 2016, Shane Battier with the Miami Heat in 2012 and 2013)
  • 13 NBA All Star Game Appearances (Irving 4, Grant Hill 3, Luol Deng 2, Elton Brand 2, Carlos Boozer 2)
  • NBA All Star Game Most Valuable Player (Irving in 2014)
  • 2 All NBA Second Team Selections (Brand in 2006, Hill in 2000)
  • 2 All NBA Third Team Selections (Irving in 2015, Boozer in 2008)
  • 3 All NBA Defensive Second Team Selections (Battier 2, Deng in 2012)
  • 2 NBA Rookie of the Year Awards (Irving in 2012, Brand as Co-ROY in 2000)
  • 6 NBA All Rookie First Team Selections (Deng in 2005, Irving in 2012, Mason Plumlee in 2014, Jahlil Okafor in 2016, Shane Battier in 2002, Brand in 2000)
  • 3 NBA All Rookie Second Teams (Kyle Singler in 2013, Justise Winslow in 2016, Boozer in 2003)
  • NBA Rising Stars Challenge Most Valuable Player (Irving in 2012)
  • NBA Three Point Contest Champion (Irving in 2013)
  • 5 NBA Sportsmanship Awards (Hill 3, Deng in 2007, Brand in 2006)
  • J. Walter Kennedy Citizenship Award (Deng in 2014)
  • NBA Teammate of the Year Award (Battier in 2014)
  • Olympic Gold Medal (Irving in 2016)

North Carolina:

  • 8 NBA Championships (Harrison Barnes and James Michael McAdoo with the Golden State Warriors in 2015, Danny Green with the San Antonio Spurs in 2014, Rick Fox with the Los Angeles Lakers in 2000, 2001, and 2002, Brendan Haywood with the Dallas Mavericks in 2011, Rasheed Wallace with the Detroit Pistons in 2004)
  • 18 NBA All Star Game Appearances (Vince Carter 8, Rasheed Wallace 4, Antawn Jamison 2, Michael Jordan 2, Jerry Stackhouse 2)
  • All NBA Second Team Selection (Carter in 2001)
  • All NBA Third Team Selection (Carter in 2000)
  • 4 NBA All Rookie Second Team Selections (Marvin Williams and Raymond Felton in 2006, Barnes and Tyler Zeller in 2013)
  • NBA Slam Dunk Contest Champion (Carter in 2000)
  • NBA Sixth Man of the Year (Jamison in 2004)
  • NBA Teammate of the Year (Carter in 2016)
  • J. Walter Kennedy Citizenship Award (Wayne Ellington in 2016)
  • 2 Jerseys Retired by NBA Franchises (Michael Jordan’s #23 by the Chicago Bulls and Miami Heat)
  • 2 Olympic Gold Medals (Carter in 2000, Barnes in 2016)

NC State:

  • 2 NBA Championships (Josh Powell with the Los Angeles Lakers in 2009 and 2010)

In conclusion, going by championships the teams would be ranked:

  1. North Carolina (8)
  2. Duke (5)
  3. Wake Forest (4)
  4. NC State (2)

Considering the overall body of work, Wake Forest is overwhelmingly first (thanks mostly to Timmy D and CP3) with North Carolina and Duke slightly behind, and NC State clearly in last place.

What do you all think, given these statistics? Comment below.