"He was more than a coach," Michael Jordan said about Dean Smith. "He was my mentor, my teacher, my second father."
Everything, from MJ's on-court greatness to his God-like aura; it's all a reflection of Smith's iconic basketball footprint. The legendary UNC coach didn't just plant the seeds for the greatest NBA run ever; he also helped create one of the greatest sports icons we've ever seen.
And according to Kenny "The Jet" Smith, the list of MJ's quotes is the ultimate proof of that.
"It's 100% plagiarism"
Smith, who joined UNC when MJ was a senior and eventually became an All-American under coach Smith, debunked the myth about the origin of Jordan's legendary quotes. According to the current Inside the NBA studio analyst, Michael isn't the person behind the iconic catchphrases he became famous for; it's the late great UNC head coach.
"Mike gets a lot of credit for his quotes," Kenny said. "It's just Dean Smith's quotes. He stole it. It's all plagiarism. It's 100% plagiarism. He just adds expletives."
"Everything that coach Smith said to us, that's what Mike said. You can pull it, it's every interview. It's plagiarism to the finest."
Kenny "The Jet" Smith, ALL THE SMOKE
The Dean Smith effect
Over time, Jordan's quotes entered basketball immortality, adding to what is already an iconic persona No.23 embodies. Some of them are bigger than the game itself. Their applicability, no matter the field of endeavor, resonates with people. They're also in line with everything MJ was, and still is to those admiring him.
And it's easy to understand why.
"I've missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I've lost almost 300 games. 26 times, I've been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I've failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed."
"I can accept failure, everyone fails at something. But I can't accept not trying."
"Some people want it to happen, some wish it would happen, others make it happen."
No matter the quote, the message behind it is as impactful as they get. But if Kenny Smith is right, that's not the MJ effect; it's the Dean Smith effect.
That's not to say Jordan didn't have the right to use the quotes. But still, let's keep in mind who was the brain behind those words.
So the next time you read MJ's quotes for motivation, remember; it's Dean Smith!