You can find Golden State Warriors everywhere.
Reason being is that they’re usually traded before their rookie contract expires, forcibly ejected or fully knowing that they wouldn’t re-up with a franchise that embodies the chaos exemplified in film Titanic (watch the scene where the ship splits in half then goes down with people plunging to their death or others ‘jumping ship’.)
I made a random trip to University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill -- or rather Tar Hell country (and country it was) -- to see my sister get another degree and it ended up being more than just vinegar-based BBQ. Knowing my life-long love for basketball, my sister took me to their newey constructed "Carolina Basketball Museum." No there weren’t no wax statues of Michael Jordan (or Jeff McInnis). But after going inside, you could probably call it the ‘Hall of the Warriors Past and Present’
The museum is pretty unassuming upon walking in. It looks more like a lobby to an office building in the Silicon Valley than what I was expecting. You know, something like a sports bar with TVs everywhere, paraphenlia hangings from every corner, and women in tight, low-cut shirts serving hot wings. Oh wait, I’m describing "Hooters"…or "Seau’s" in San Diego.
After entering the double doors is a small tribute to the 2007 Championship team with a pair of Brandan Wright’s shoes enclosed within a glass case. Hmm, maybe seeing Warrior stuff around is a lot like the silicon valley then...? I don’t think his game shoes nowadays ever look as worn as these do.
After stepping through another set of double doors into a small dome, a short film recounting the legacy of what it means to be a North Carolina Tarheel basketball player came on. Lo and behold, there was commentary from James Worthy, Phil Ford, Eric Montross, Vince Carter, AND Antawn Jamison (and more, but still no Jeff McInnis or Joe Wolf). It’s a lot of indoctrination for fans and folks in the community. But upon seeing all those clips, I finally felt like I knew what winning felt like.
My family posing unexpectedly. But check out the way that guy on the far right takes pictures.
The small dome than opens into the main museum hall where the "Hooters" meets "Seau’s" atmosphere kicks in, but without women in push-ups pushing hot wings. There are replica and/or original jerseys and shoes everywhere. There’s quite a bit of detail to everything from greatest Tarheels to play at all 5 positions, to every Tarheel drafted in the first round, and of course a whole section dedicated to Michael Jordan with original recruitment letters from Chapel Hill and Duke Coach, Coach K. Along with this are videos at various stations that show you clips of greatest games and greatest players. Oddly there is stuff dedicated to Joe Forte, but no Jeff McInnis anywhere.
And, here we have… more ANTAWN JAMISON!
Jamison with Jerry Stackhouse and Vince Carter endorse getting that education!
Antawn Jamison also reminds kids to stay in school. You can't really see him because of the shadow created by the overhang above the photo. That’s him standing with Jerry Stackhouse. Oddly, this small image in the far corner of this complex is the only thing mention that discusses pursuing academics aside from Roy Williams telling them that "This is your school" in the end of the promotional video upon walking in.
Is it me or has the Tarheel talent drastically dropped off in the last decade?
The Warriors drafting Tarheel legacy (and busts) started with Lennie Rosenbluth back in 1957!
Rosenbluth was a stud back in the day at Chapel Hill. In his first year of varsity basketball in 1955 he was the leading scorer of the Tar Heels. He was named third team All-American, averaging 25.5 ppg and 11.7 rebounds. In 1956 he also achieved All-America honors, but this time they were split between various first and second team selections. He was also named the ACC All American Athlete in 1957. He again led the Tar Heels in scoring with a 26.7 average.
He played briefly in the NBA, only two seasons with the Philadelphia Warriors. He averaged a measly 4.2 points a game and less than 2 rebounds for his career. These facts are helpful in situating the Warriors miserable draft history. Drafting busts is just part of the Warrior legacy...all the way back to the 50s! So, we shouldn't be too distressed if the Warriors mess it up this year; its just in their nature!
Checking out the Carolina Basketball Museum was quite an experience. For about an hour, I knew what it felt like to win (consistently), imagining myself as a part of that legacy. Also I got to witness first hand how much money college sports generates or is prioritized over academics. Chapel Hill is actually one of the few American universities that has a balance of both sports and education; but seeing the extravagance of such a museum makes you realize first hand how University's are money making machines that rely on Alumni "loyalty" to help make them go.
Anyway, if the Warriors were to draft a Tarheel this summer, which one do you think it would be (depending if they commit to leaving school).