August 30, 2010
They will have to wait more than a year to take the court on opposite sides of college basketball's greatest rivalry, but that didn't stop North Carolina-bound James McAdoo and Duke-bound Michael Gbinije from engaging in some friendly banter.
In an interview with DraftExpress.com during the walk-up to Saturday's Boost Mobile Elite 24 event in Venice, Calif., McAdoo and Gbinije needled each-other as though they were a couple of diehard fans in a sports bar. They joked about each-other's appearances, college choices and chances of making it to the NBA one day.
"Recap what their problem was last year because we won the whole thing and they went to the NIT?" Gbinije said.
Responded McAdoo: "What happened to y'all two years ago when we beat you twice, home and away."
The interview was reminiscent of a pair of similar smack-talk sessions DraftExpress conducted with class of 2010 recruits Kyrie Irving, Harrison Barnes, Reggie Bullock and Kendall Marshall the week of the McDonald's All-American game last April. Bullock said the Tar Heels would win next season because Duke has "sorry wing players," so a smiling Irving politely reminded him which program was playing for a national title that weekend and which didn't make the NCAA tournament.
"I was proud of North Carolina this season," Irving said, voice dripping with sarcasm. "They had a tremendous season. It was amazing to watch them on TV. They played so hard every night. They put on a show every night for me when they lost by 30, 25, 40, 15. You guys got rolling at the end of the season. It was amazing."
McAdoo needed to change the subject away from last season's results, so the Norfolk Christian star brought up his team's 63-56 victory over Gbinije's Benedictine High School last December.
"We lost, but we played on their court with their refs, not to mention I'm a guard and I'm like the biggest player on my team," Gbinije said. "We got here a UNC big man. Who's going to check him?"
"All I hear is excuses, is that correct?" McAdoo responded. "The truth of the matter is I dunked on you."
Just like the videos with Irving, Barnes, Bullock and Marshall, the most fun part about this interview is that McAdoo and Gbinije clearly have developed a great friendship. Hopefully, it's a strong enough one to survive when they're wearing different shades of blue.