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Dean Smith held back MJ? Roy Williams dispels ‘stupid myth’

Feb 28, 2014, 2:04 PM EDT

The question of whether or not Dean Smith held back Michael Jordan during the latter’s three seasons in Chapel Hill is one that came up on multiple occasions throughout Jordan’s career. If you read here, the question was asked way back in 1985 with Smith denying the allegation.

“The NBA rules are ideal for Michael,” Smith told Mike Zitz of The Free Lance-Star at the time. “The 24-second clock, the man-to-man defense. It’s a longer game. If I kept him down, how come he was named College Player of the Year?

“In college it’s different. We often had two men open because of the zone defenses, double- and triple-teaming Michael. We led the ACC in scoring average for the fifth straight year.”

Another person who vehemently disagrees with the claim is current North Carolina head coach Roy Williams, who was an assistant under Smith while Jordan was in college. Williams appeared on the “Dan Patrick Show” Friday morning, and this was one of the topics discussed during the segment with the coach dismissing the idea as a “stupid myth.”

  1. 1historian - Apr 13, 2014 at 8:40 AM

    29 years ago:

    Q: Did Dean Smith ‘hold back’ Michael Jordan during MJ’s college career?

    A: No, that’s a stupid question. Next question.

    The answer to that stupid question was NO the first time it was asked, and has continued to be so every single time it has been asked in the 29 years since then.

    Why, then, is it still asked?

    Perhaps because the story writer who brings it up isn’t very good.

    Why write a story about a question to which the answer was an emphatic NO when it was first asked 29 years ago and to which the answer has continued to be an emphatic NO?

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