North Carolina has been home to some of the biggest names in National Basketball Association. It is the land which produced the greatest player ever in Michael Jordan and even today, some of the best players in NBA hail from this state. We have compiled a list of some these stars;
Chris Paul is considered by many as the best point guard in NBA today. The 6 ft swingman is a master at creating plays, has an excellent court vision, and is second to none when it comes to penetrating the D. Selected 4th overall in the 2005 NBA Draft by the New Orleans Hornets, Paul won the Rookie of the Year to start off and then went on to be a five-time All-Star.
CP3, as he is commonly known, made a shift to the Los Angeles Clippers last off season and immediately made them a playoff contender. The Clips finished last season as the number 5 seeds in the Western Conference and keyed by Paul, they made it as far as the Western Conference Semifinals. Paul has also been a permanent feature on the US Olympic roster and has so far won two gold medals.
One of the top young point guards in the league, Stephen Curry plays for the Golden State Warriors in NBA and is considered as a future All-Star. Curry is a brilliant shooter, and such is his skill set that he won the NBA Skills Challenge champion during the All-Star weekend in 2011, beating the likes of the legendary Steve Nash and Tony Parker.
Although he has battled with injury issues a lot in his short career, Curry has always come back stronger and along with Andrew Bogut and David Lee, he is thought of someone who will make the Warriors a championship contender in the near future.
Damien Wilkins is a wingman who plays for the Philadelphia 76ers. In his eight years in the NBA, Wilkins has been part of five NBA franchises and has scored at an average 6.3 points in above 500 games.
Wilkins is a good perimeter shooter and Doug Collins, the Philly coach, often uses him as an impact player off the bench.
Another exciting point guard to come out of North Carolina is Oklahoma City Thunder reserve Eric Maynor. The 6ft 3 in guard, who was selected as the number 20 pick by the Utah Jazz back in 2009, is by no means your regular reserve. He is a beast on the defense and provides more than suitable cover for the star one guard Russell Westbrook. After the departure of James Harden to the Houston Rockets, Maynor has become the back bone of the Thunder reserve unit and his performances off the bench will be key if the Thunder are to make it back to the NBA Finals this season.
Selected as the 20th pick in the 2001 NBA draft, Brendan Haywood is one of the premier centres in NBA. Haywood has been part of three NBA franchises in his 11 NBA years and has career figures of 7.2 points, 6.2 rebounds and 1.4 blocks.
He is presently playing for the Charlotte Bobcats, who acquired him off the waivers this off season to add some much needed steel in their front court.
Chris Wilcox is a power forward/centre, who plays for the Boston Celtics. Wilcox was doing an excellent job as reserve to Kevin Garnett last season, before he was diagnosed with a rare form of heart ailment and had to be released by the C’s. He has however returned this season and forms a critical part of the strong Celtics front court, which also boosts of Brandon Bass and two rookies in Fab Melo and Jared Sullinger. Wilcox is a ten year veteran and averages 8.6 points and 5.1 rebounds so far in his career.
Howard established himself as one of the premier shooting guards at the start of his career with the Dallas Mavericks. He stayed for seven years with the Mavs and gave them his best figures in 07-08 – 19.9 points, 7.0 rebounds and 2.2 assists. He was traded to the Washington Wizards in the 2009-10 season, and has never been the same after that. His last season came with the Utah Jazz, in which he scored 8.7 points on average in 43 games.