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“Dean Smith left Michael Jordan and 179 other players $200 each in his will”: Former UNC Tar Heels head coach wanted his former players to have a ‘nice dinner’ on him

Samir Mehdi

“Dean Smith left Michael Jordan and 179 other players $200 each in his will”: Former UNC Tar Heels head coach wanted his former players to have a ‘nice dinner’ on him

Dean Smith left several of his former UNC athletes like Michael Jordan, $200 in his will so they could enjoy a nice dinner out on him. 

Dean Smith has coached some of the greatest athletes that have graced NBA hardwood. Of course, you have Michael Jordan whose shot in 1982 as a freshman won the Tar Heels the NCAA championship and according to the Bulls legend himself, turned him from ‘Mike’ to Michael Jordan. 

That 1982 squad featured more future NBA stars like James Worthy who won co-national player of the year honors alongside Ralph Sampson and Sam Perkins who scored over 2000 points as a Tar Heel.

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Other players who were under the tutelage of Dean Smith were guys like Vince Carter, Jerry Stackhouse, and even Antawn Jamison. With all of these players at his disposal over a 36 year long career, Dean Smith boasted an incredible 77.6% career winning percentage as a head coach for the Tar Heels. 

Safe to say that, along the way, Coach Smith connected with a bevy of his players, like Michael Jordan and the rest. 

Dean Smith had 180 players in his will given $200. 

Passing at the age of 86 in Chapel Hill in 2015, Dean Smith left $200 for 180 players he’s coached in the past so they could ‘enjoy a dinner out’ on him. With the innumerable amount of players that Smith coached in the 36 years he spent as a Tar Heel, picking merely 180 of them must’ve been quite difficult.

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Michael Jordan clearly connected with Dean Smith as he did with Roy Williams, as he claims to still have that $200 check in his possession. In fact, we would go on to frame the check so as to keep it as a memento, according to Marcus Jordan, Michael’s son.  

 Jordan would also release the Jordan Series .02 ‘University Blue’ to honor the late, great coach.

About the author

Samir Mehdi

Samir Mehdi


Samir Mehdi is a senior strategist for the NBA division at The Sportsrush. Ever since he was 13 years old, he’s been obsessed with the game of basketball. From watching Kobe Bryant’s highlights on YouTube to now, analyzing and breaking down every single game on League Pass, Samir’s passion for the game is unwavering. He's a complete basketball junkie who not only breaks down current games but also keenly watches ones from the 60s’ and 70s’ while also reading comprehensive books on the history of the league. Samir’s life revolves around basketball and he hopes that shows in his work. Aside from work, he loves to spend time in the gym and with his friends at social gatherings.

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