This 1982 Letter Dean Smith Wrote To Michael Jordan Reveals Some Of How MJ Became The GOAT
Upon Smith’s death in 2015 Jordan said in a statement…
“Other than my parents, no one had a bigger influence on my life than Coach Smith. He was more than a coach – he was my mentor, my teacher, my second father. Coach was always there for me whenever I needed him and I love him for it. In teaching me the game of basketball, he taught me about life. My heart goes out to Linnea and their kids. We’ve lost a great man who had an incredible impact on players, his staff and the entire UNC family.”
Part of that influence on Jordan came in the form of the personal touch Smith used in dealing with his players. That personal touch included letters to his players, including MJ, on what they needed to do in order to become better.
Never mind that fact that North Carolina had just won a national championship thanks in large part to Jordan, who had a tremendous freshman year, Smith still saw room for improvement.
Everything from moving without the basketball to dribbling to talking more on defense was covered by the legendary coach.
And this isn’t the first time we’ve seen a letter Smith sent to Jordan during his college years. Back in 2015, a similar letter was unearthed that Smith wrote to Jordan after his sophomore season in 1983.
Not even being a consensus NCAA All-American First Team player meant you couldn’t improve as far as Dean Smith was concerned.
Amazing stuff. And it all began with a couple of letters Smith wrote to a relatively unheralded high school player back in 1980…
No wonder the man retired with 879 victories and Jordan went on to win six NBA titles. It was literally the perfect combination.