In the wake of Dean Smith’s passing, sports stars such as Michael Jordan and cultural icons from around the world have expressed their condolences.
Many American sports and cultural figures have come out to express their sympathies on the passing of former North Carolina Tar Heels coach Dean Smith, who died yesterday at the age of 83.
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Michael Jordan, the NBA legend who Smith recruited and molded into the man who would become one of the best basketball players of all-time, issued a personal statement expressing his sorrow for the loss:
Michael Jordan statement on the passing of Dean Smith. pic.twitter.com/zvNgIniu30
— Marc J. Spears (@SpearsNBAYahoo) February 8, 2015
President Barack Obama, who awarded Smith the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2013, issued a statement as well:
Obama on Dean Smith: “Last night, America lost not just a coaching legend but a gentleman and a citizen.” pic.twitter.com/iNh6AOY8X0
— Zeke Miller (@ZekeJMiller) February 8, 2015
Phil Jackson, the 11-time NBA Champion who won half of them with Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls, issued a statement of his own.
Dean Smith an educator and great coach will not be forgotten. He taught player more than just bball skills RIP
— Phil Jackson (@PhilJackson11) February 8, 2015
At Michael Jordan’s Hall of Fame induction in 2009, Jordan said of Smith, “There’s no way you guys would have got a chance to see Michael Jordan play without Dean Smith.”
Smith led the Tar Heels to two National Championships in 1982 and 1993. He coached the United States Olympic Basketball team in 1976 and took the Gold Medal. He also led the Tar Heels to 11 Final Four appearances.
Smith’s 879 college coaching victories are 4th in NCAAB history behind only Bob Knight, Mike Krzyzewski, and Jim Boeheim. He was a four-time National Coach of the Year in 1977, ’79, ’82 and ’93. He was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 1983, and was inducted into the National Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame in 2006.