NBA 2K17 features 10 all-time rosters for some of college basketball’s most historic programs. One of the teams included is Wake Forest.
The Demon Deacons feature a talented lineup from top to bottom, but two players particularly stand out: Chris Paul and Tim Duncan. Is there really much more explaining necessary?
There isn’t much more to be said about Duncan that hasn’t been repeated since his retirement this past summer. He is arguably the greatest power forward in NBA history and played the game the right way.
Duncan was the “big fundamental” in every sense of the nickname. He wasn’t flashy, he didn’t make headlines for antics. Instead, he carried himself quietly but let his game speak volumes. Duncan’s business-like approach helped him win five NBA championships, three finals MVPs and two league MVPs.
Paul is arguably the best point guard of the past decade. Though Paul has lacked the playoff success of Duncan — which can be said about most players — the former Demon Deacon is a nine-time All-Star, four-time All-NBA first teamer and six-time NBA All-Defensive first teamer. However, a championship has eluded Paul throughout his entire career.
But just imagine the duo of Duncan and Paul playing together. The one consistent factor to all of the Spurs championship teams was Duncan. Whether he was a rookie apprentice to David Robinson, franchise player or aging role player, the Big Fundamental was always a key factor.
It’s not outlandish to think Paul could have won on a team with Duncan. That’s not to discredit Avery Johnson or Tony Parker, but rather to acknowledge what Duncan provides to a talented point guard. Paul’s game is a bit flashier than Duncan’s, but he’s a prototypical point guard, so there are some similarities here that would mesh well.
Imagine how many assists Paul could have had working a pick and roll or points on a give and go with Duncan. The duo would have dominated the NBA for the overlapping prime of their respective careers.
But Wake Forest’s team has some appealing players beyond CP3 and Duncan. The only other 90-plus overall player is Randolph Childress. If you base your entire judgement on the college rosters based on a player’s NBA success, Childress is the most overrated player in the game. But considering he was a consensus All-American, ACC Athlete of the Year, a two-time All-ACC first teamer and had his No. 22 jersey retired by Wake Forest, his high rating is valid.
There are several other familiar NBA names including Jeff Teague, Al-Farouq Aminu and Ish Smith, but perhaps the most intriguing to use is Muggsy Bogues. For children of a certain age, that’s the short basketball player from Space Jam.
But beyond his lack of NBA height, Bogues was a warrior and a standout professional guard. As a kid, I loved either picking or playing against the Hornets just to see the 5-foot-3 point guard matched up against a 6-foot-plus point guard. As an adult, I’d still find joy in using Bogues in the game.
Wake Forest’s all-time team includes two bonafide Hall of Famers several talented players and perhaps the most underrated guard of the 1990s. The Demon Deacons will be one of the most entertaining teams to use in this year’s edition of 2k, which is a credit to their success as a program.