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.”