Jason Williams took at look at this all-time All-ACC team and despite his own presence asked one question: where’s Grant?
It’s a good point. It’s hard to leave Grant Hill off of that team just as it’s hard to leave off Ralph Sampson or Len Bias.
Which in turn leads to another great point: who would be on the second team and who would win if those two teams played?
Consider the potential second team. We’d take Hill, Sampson, James Worthy, Bobby Hurley and Buck Williams. That’s a controversial pick over Bias we know but we watched Williams, who was 6-8, eat Sampson alive. The guy was every bit as ferocious as Laettner.
So let’s look at the potential matchups there:
- Duncan vs. Sampson
- Laettner vs. Buck Williams
- Jordan vs. Hill
- Thompson vs. Worthy
- Jason Williams vs. Hurley
Where do you draw the line? Tim Duncan could take Sampson outside but Sampson was quicker and could handle that. Laettner and Williams would be the grudge match of all ACC time. Those guys would kill each other. Jordan would be better than Hill but not much better. Peak Grant was really, really great.
Thompson vs. Worthy would be interesting but we don’t think Worthy could have guarded Thompson and Thompson, despite being smaller, could have guarded Worthy.
Or you could just put Thompson on Jordan and have Hill and Worthy go at it. Those are probably better matchups anyway.
Finally, Williams vs. Hurley. Wow. Williams was an amazing player who could do things that no other Duke guard has done. He was superb and a great team player too. We loved him.
The one criticism we have of him is that his attention periodically flickered. We’re thinking back to when he dribbled over to Coach K and Maryland’s Steve Blake came up from behind and stole the ball. The great thing about Williams was that when he lost focus he’d come back and absolutely kill the other team. It was incredible to watch.
Hurley’s attention never, ever wavered. He had an advantage in that he played with Laettner and Laettner demanded, if not perfection, then at least perfect effort.
So while guarding Wiliams was a nightmare he left ways that he could be exploited too.
What do you guys think? And does anyone know someone who could do a graphics-based simulation? Wouldn’t that be amazing to watch?
On a side note, putting Laettner, Jordan and Duncan on the same team would be immensely fun. Duncan was quieter about it but all three were insanely competitive. Getting out of practice alive would have been a major accomplishment.