They arrived in New York early last week from different places at different stages of their lives.
Three friends and a foe, once separated by eight miles and varying shades of blue, now joining forces.
They shared a stage, a bond, a childhood dream realized. The NBA draft was a different kind of crazy, and following a celebratory night of hugs and handshakes, they departed on separate planes for new adventures in new cities.
Harrison Barnes took in a baseball game and asked for help finding a restaurant in San Francisco. Austin Rivers shouted he loved New Orleans. John Henson enjoyed Milwaukee but couldnt wait to see everyone back in Chapel Hill. Tyler Zeller, now a teammate of Kyrie Irving in Cleveland, explained to the media that, yes, a North Carolina player can co-exist with a Duke player, perhaps even set him an occasional screen.
Kendall Marshall and Miles Plumlee partied from afar. Before the draft, Marshall implored his Tar Heel teammates to make history. After they did, he raced to Phoenix and joked about the scorching sun. Plumlee returned to Indiana, where hell encounter the same divided house dynamic awaiting Zeller-Irving. If the Pacers have a sense of humor, theyll make him sit beside Tyler Hansbrough on cross-country charter flights. Both have fond memories of Cameron Indoor Stadium.
We know about their draft experience because they told us ... 140 characters at a time. They invited us inside their world, from the buildup to the sleepless nights to the thrill of finally pulling on an NBA jersey. The one with their name not Kobes on the back.
2:19 a.m.: Austin Rivers @AustinRivers25 : This whole week got me so anxious and excited I cant sleep
4:19 p.m.: @AustinRivers25 : Had a great time today working with the kids on their game! Its good to know the NBA always gives back! #nbacares
10:27 p.m.: @HBarnes : Not sure if Ill be able to sleep tonight
12:45 a.m.: @HBarnes : #TrulyBlessed !!!!!
2:55 p.m.: @HBarnes : Im happy I get to rep the state of Iowa and UNC at the draft tonight. Truly a dream come true to be able to sit in the green room!
6:45 p.m.: Kendall Marshall @KButter5 : Lets make history.
9:05 p.m.: @KButter5 : I cant believe this Im in the NBA.
9:44 p.m.: @HBarnes : Thank you to my mom, sister, Coach Vance Downs, Coach Roy Williams, my agent Jeff Wechsler, and all the other people who helped me get here.
9:53 p.m.: @UNC_Basketball : Four 1st-round picks gives #UNCBBall 13 1st-rounder & 10 Lottery picks in 9 yrs under Roy Williams.
10:18 p.m.: @AustinRivers25 : So thankful for this opportunity! Have to thank God! I love new Orleans and Im excited to play there and become a new Orleans Hornet!
10:21 p.m.: @AustinRivers25 : Lets goooo miles Plumlee!! So happy for my bro!
10:30 p.m.: John Henson @_John_Henson_ : Cant wait to get to Milwaukee tomorrow morning !!
10:39 p.m.: @UNC_Basketball : Four Tar Heels among Top 17 picks in NBA Draft. #UNCBBall.
10:40 p.m.: @AustinRivers25 : Let the games begin!!
11:39 p.m.: Cleveland Plain Dealer @PDcavsinsider : (Tyler) Zeller, a North Carolina product, says he will sacrifice rivalry to play with Duke product Kyrie Irving.
6:43 a.m.: @KButter5 : PHX bound #UpUpAway
12:05 p.m.: @KButter5 : Step outside and caught a mean left hook from the heat. Welcome to PHX I guess lol
4:46 p.m.: @KButter5 : Had fun meeting with fans at the #HoopsHub, looking forward to getting to you all off the court!
6:55 p.m.: @HBarnes : Ive never been to the bay area before can anyone tell me good spots to eat, places to visit, etc.?
7:48 p.m.: @_John_Henson_ : I hate.
7:49 p.m.: @_John_Henson_ : Connecting flights.
7:53 p.m.: @_John_Henson_ : How do you not have a mechanic available at an airport .. Geez lol
10:35 p.m.: @_John_Henson_ : Chapel Hill bound.
5:28 p.m.: @HBarnes : Im hyped I get to go to this San Jose/LA galaxy game tonight at Stanford Stadium #CaliClasico
4:35 p.m.: @HBarnes : Great weather for this Giants game!
6:00 p.m.: @_John_Henson_ : Great hooping with the fellas today !..missed them dudes !