An article appeared on the website Hoopsworld last week detailing the impact of UNC players in the NBA. By and large it was what you would expect highlighting some of the greats from UNC who have made waves at the next level. However I was also struck by some serious omissions.
The author went through great pains to mention various players, including Lennie Rosenbluth who did not have much of an NBA career but fails to mention several players who had notable careers such as:
Brad Daughtery: Played eight seasons, averaged 19.0 ppg, 9.5 rpg. Five-time All Star. 1st overall pick in 1986.
Kenny Smith: Played 10 seasons, averaged 12.8 ppg. Once held record for most three pointers in an NBA Finals game. Won the Slam Dunk Contest. 6th overall pick in 1987. Lead studio analyst for TNT NBA coverage.
Walter Davis: Played 15 seasons, averaged 18.9 ppg. Six-time All Star. 5th overall pick in 1977.
Charlie Scott: Played 10 seasons(NBA-8, ABA-2) Averaged 20.7 ppg. Five-time All Star.
Billy Cunningham: Played 11 seasons(NBA-9, ABA-2) Averaged 21.2 ppg, 10.4 rpg. Five-time All Star. ABA MVP in 1973. Member of the 1967 NBA Champion Philadelphia 76ers. Named one of the 50th greatest players in NBA history in 1997. Won the 1983 NBA Championship as head coach of the Sixers. Finished coaching career with 454 wins.
Bobby Jones: Played 11 seasons(NBA-9, ABA-2) Averaged 12.1 ppg. Five time All Star. Member of the 1983 NBA Champion Sixers. 1983 Sixth Man of the Year. 11 time All Defensive team.
Now in one respect I understand that if you are writing an article like this you cannot mention everyone but if you are going to include Sam Perkins as an “All-Time Great” then you have committed journalistic malpactice in not at least mentioning Billy Cunningham. In fact excluding him in a discussion of UNC’s impact in the NBA is nearly criminal.
The Kangaroo Kid was one of the 50 Greatest players in the NBA history who won a title as a player and head coach. I would go as far as to say he might very well be the 2nd greatest Tar Heel in the NBA behind Michael Jordan given the full body of work as both player and coach. It should be noted that Jones, Daughtery, Davis and Scott all had more notable careers both statistically and in terms of honors than Perkins did. In short, Ms Jessica Camerato and member of the Professional Basketball Writers Association did not do her homework which is really a shame since this one site has all the information you need.