Share This Episode
The Drive with Josh Graham Josh Graham Logo

Roy Williams Interview

The Drive with Josh Graham / Josh Graham
The Truth Network Radio
April 29, 2020 4:10 pm

Roy Williams Interview

The Drive with Josh Graham / Josh Graham

On-Demand Podcasts NEW!

This broadcaster has 510 podcast archives available on-demand.

Broadcaster's Links

Keep up-to-date with this broadcaster on social media and their website.

April 29, 2020 4:10 pm

Roy Williams joined The Drive with Josh Graham to discuss the new developments with the NCAA and NIL, some Michael Jordan stories, and more.


We are thrilled to have the head coach of the Tar Heels, Roy Williams, back on with us in the Triad. Coach, appreciate you making the time for us. The last time we spoke, via Zoom earlier this month, you had a nice quarantine beard going, and I think you mentioned you were going to pull out the golf clubs. Have you had a chance to hit some balls? I've played more golf at this time of year than I've ever played in my entire life. The weather's been really good, some windy and some rain, but still I'm not playing every single day.

I do have a chance, and I think I'm probably averaging two to three times a week. It's not like the old days. I used to play 36 or 45. Now I used to play 18, and that's it. I know you've been consuming a lot of the Last Dance Bulls docuseries, as we all have, but speaking of golf, Michael Wilbon, he was with us a few weeks back, and he said one time he played with Michael, or a few times he played with Michael on the golf course, and he said that the determination that he had on the basketball floor, it also translated to the Lynx. Do you have a good story golfing with Mike?

Oh, yeah. I mean, we've played a lot of golf together. I was one of the guys that got him started to play in a little bit and hitting balls and that kind of thing, and we played many rounds together.

Maybe the first tournament he ever played in, I got him on my team and we went to play somewhere. But no, he's competitive as all get-out, and the only thing Michael does better than play is talk, and on the golf course, the talking is even more impressive than it is in the basketball game, but he has no referee to calm him down or anything. So he's a pleasure to play with, but he likes competing, and he doesn't mind putting some money out there and having a friendly game, and he can hit the ball a long way, and he really can be, you know, with everything he's got going on, it's amazing how good he is, because he could really be really good. And he's probably gotten it down, and now his handicap's probably been as low as a two or a three, and I know it's been that low, and it could have even been even lower, but no, he's competitive.

He likes to win, and he likes to hit the ball and look up and see in the ball flight the same thing that he pictured in his mind, and I think that's what all golfers, good golfers try to do. I remember your first impression of Michael being, this might be one of the best high school players I've ever seen. You mentioned something. I said, I just saw the best six foot four inch high school player of everything, not one of us, but he's the best I've ever seen. A very important distinction there, but you mentioned at the beginning, you started to get Mike into golf. How did that go? Just from talking so much about it and being around, you know, because he was with us for three years, and you know, doing that kind of thing, I took him out to the course, met him out there, we hit balls, and still one of the favorite stories that's so outrageous is that it was the week of the NCAA Golf Championships, and our team had qualified, or just Davis Love and John Inman had qualified, but anyway, we had some guys going to the NCAA Golf finals, and Michael took a swing with Davis Love's driver and snapped the head off.

And I'm serious, this is like two or three days now, you can go almost any place, and they've got a way to put a new head on there and that kind of stuff. It wasn't that commonplace at that time, so Davis was just destroyed from wondering, can I get this fixed, and is it going to be different when I put it on the end of my swing and that kind of thing. But he just fell in love with the game, and it gave him another thing to compete in, and that's what Michael really loves. Roy Williams with us here on Sports Up Dryad. How would you describe the relationship Michael had with Coach Smith?

Was it any different than the other guys? With Michael, there was always tremendous respect for his coaches, and you can even see it in the last dance. He's talking about, and I think his statement was, hey, I wasn't that excited about Phil Jackson coming in. Doug Collins had the ball in my hand, and Phil's coming in and wants to take it out of my hands.

But what did he do? He adapted, and there's even something in the episode Sunday night that said during the timeout that Phil sits on. Pax is the guy that's open in two plays in a row.

Michael's being guarded by his guy, and Paxson's guy's coming in, so he finds him and he makes the shot. So Michael's always so receptive to the coaches if they wanted to win as badly as he did. And needless to say, Coach Smith did. And the other thing that was different at that age, Michael later on didn't need another father figure. He didn't need one when he played for us, but that's what Coach Smith was.

And when you get older and more mature, you don't need that. But Michael needed that guy that Coach Smith was, that solely had his interests at heart, regardless of what it was going to do for the program or not do for the program or benefit the program or hurt the program. He was always concerned about Michael, and I thought Michael saw that clearly and appreciated that and repaid that loyalty back to Coach Smith and Kind.

Yeah, I was really impressed by Phil Jackson, some of the things that you're mentioning there, watching the documentary, Newfound Respect, when I looked at the way he handled the Scottie Pippen situation with the team and then handled Dennis Rodman and Michael. And it just seems like to me it reiterates the idea, maybe don't treat everybody the same, but treat everybody fair. What was your takeaway of that? Well, it was, and it's something I adopted a long time ago. I said, I'm not going to treat everybody the same, but I'm going to treat you fairly.

In fact, I think it's a weak leader that says I'm going to treat everybody the same and hides behind that because then you don't have to make any decisions. And I've never believed that that was the best way to go. And I think I would have had a tough time saying to one of my players, yeah, you go to Vegas and make sure you're back 48 hours from now. But Phil was perfect for the pro game. He was perfect for the Bulls. And it was, and they won six championships. Now, they didn't win any when Michael wasn't there that year and a half. But it was something that I thought he was fantastic. And I think that's being shown more in the last dance that we're seeing every Sunday night.

I think your answers in the last few minutes, they kind of speak for themselves what I'm about to ask, but I'll still ask it anyway. How much pride do you know Michael to have in Carolina? Because, I mean, when you consider, I think we had Joel Berry on a month ago. He said after the 2016 championship loss to Villanova, Michael, he wanted to come into the locker room and speak to the guys. And Joel said that meant so much to him at that time. And the thing that reverberated in his message was just a pride in North Carolina basketball. You have a different lens of this, knowing Michael and being at Carolina as long as you have. How much pride do you know there to be?

Well, it's incredible. I mean, he knows whether to win or lose. Knows who's playing well, who's playing poorly. I talked to him during the course of the season. And in fact, what you mentioned there in 16, I knew he was coming to the game because he had called me. And we got it set up, the little extra security thing. And then after the game, I'm just crushed because I thought it was such a miraculous comeback from being down 10 to get it tied with four and a half seconds to play.

And then for Chris Jenkins to make such a big shot, it was incredible for him and Jay Wright and the Villanova program. But I get to the little holding area, a little area right outside the locker room. And I sit down in chair because I'm trying to figure out what can I say? And all of a sudden somebody just wraps their arms around me and said, I wanted to check on you. And I turned around and it was Michael. And I said to him, Michael, I just feel so inadequate. I don't know what to say. I said, how about you stepping in there and saying something to them just for a minute?

And then we'll get security to get you back out and get you out of here. And he said, yeah, no problem. And he went right in there.

And one of the guys in there was Marcus Page, who had made the most miraculous shot I had ever seen. And he had his head down in the towel and he was crying. And he told me later, so all of a sudden he realized that that was not Coach Williams's voice that was talking. And so he looked up and it was Michael. And he did. He talked about how proud he was of them. And he used this as a learning experience for the rest of their lives. You've got to be able to handle this, but you've got to be able to bounce back.

And I mean, it was perfect. And I truly believe that if I wanted anything, much less needed anything, that I could ask Michael Jordan and he would do it immediately. He's been so loyal to me and to the University of North Carolina. And he and I have the same relationship we had, particularly the way he treats me as he did when he was a sophomore in college. It's Roy Williams with us here on Sports Hub Triad. I'm looking at some of the things you've been able to do in recruiting the last few weeks.

Do you think this doc has given you a little bit of a recruiting bump? Some people realizing, hey, this Coach Williams guy, maybe he knows something after all? I don't know. I'm sure people enjoy it, but we already had five of those guys before it started.

So, you know, I don't know. But everybody loves it. And I mean, you know, Arnold Palmer, Jack Nicklaus, Muhammad Ali, Michael Jordan. You know, I mean, there's not many people that are still just as popular and people seeing it's a frenzy around them 10 years, 20 years, 30 years.

Or in Jack Nicklaus' case, 40 or 50 years after they played. And so it's just that's who Michael is and everybody. I mean, none of my guys ever saw him play a game. You know, they've seen tapes, but they didn't even see him playing on television.

And so it was something like that is you see the replays of the old games and you see the things that he's done in this last dance. I mean, it is incredible. And so it's given those guys an even more better appreciation of how great he was. But again, you know, with there's no question that I love watching it.

There's no question that I am reliving part of the things that's going on there. But Michael Jordan is the University of North Carolina and the University of North Carolina is Michael Jordan to a certain degree in each case. It's just crazy piggybacking on what you're saying. I mean, it's still the most popular shoe brand, the Jordan brand, and most of the people who want to wear it never watched him play. I think about Zion Williamson, for example, he signs with Jordan brand last year and he gave up millions plural dollars to do so because he said, oh, that's my favorite type of shoe.

And Michael Jordan, he's just the coolest. And on that note, there is news today that a lot of people are talking about the NCAA. They're they're looking at they have recommended from the Board of Governors some legislation for name, image and likeness. And it's just a big step, it seems like from where we were a year ago. Do you think that good name, image and likeness legislation would keep some guys in college who you'd otherwise think would jump to the NBA?

First response immediately would say no, come on, because it's it's we don't know what it's going to be. I just know that last year on our team, Cole Anthony would have probably been able to get something, but I don't know that anybody else would. And when Peyton Manning was at Tennessee, he could have done anything in the world. But I don't know that the center of the offensive line could.

So there's no rule that's perfect for everybody. Using Peyton as an example, again, I just gave it to somebody else earlier today. Peyton maybe is last year at Tennessee.

I don't know. I love Peyton Manning and we've been around each other several times and I just think the world of him. But opening game that year and by this time, it's a long time ago. So I don't know if they were selling fifty six dollars a jersey and sold seventy thousand or if they were selling them for seventy dollars a jersey and sold fifty six thousand.

I've lost it, which is which during that time period. But it has Manning's name and number on the back of it. And that young man didn't get one cent.

Something's not right there. And so I don't have any problem with the with the entire thought and idea there. This is America.

You should be able to do those things. But the NCAA is also supposedly an amateur division. And it's not going to be something that everybody on the football team or everybody on the basketball team are going to be able to be involved with. And you're talking about money and perhaps really good money. But still, that's not going to stop a guy if he thinks he's ready for the NBA because that is big money there. And so they're not going to stay in school any more reason than they're going to stay in school because I love my old university.

I'm going to stay here another year. You know, you just don't see that happen anymore. It's Roy Williams right here on Sports Hub Triad. So you're talking about football. Have me thinking about this, coach, and we'll close on this. How much does a strong football program help basketball? Because I think when we're going to be allowed to convene in Charlotte for an ACC football kickoff event, I would be surprised if North Carolina isn't the favorite in Mack Brown's second year to go to the ACC championship to win the coastal.

I wouldn't be surprised either. He's just done a great job. They've done a great job recruiting wise. And I've always said I love football to win because I'm one of those guys, you know, I play golf, I make the first putt. I think I'm going to make another one.

If I make that one, I think I'm going to make another one. The more you win, the more you win. You get used to winning. And I think that's important in the situation that we're in in basketball. North Carolina has been not it's not the biggest contributor to the finances for the entire athletic department.

It's been a major contributor to the finances if it's not been the best one. And that takes some of the pressure off of us. I like it because the more we win, the more people get in there, the more people get in there. They say, hey, it's great coming to Chapel Hill for a game. So we're going to do it during basketball.

Oh, yeah, my son and daughter are coming in. Gosh, they've gotten excited about going to school at this place. So I think winning does bring more winning. And I love that. And I love the excitement that we can have if we have prospects on campus during fall football weekends. I think that's good for us, just like I think it's good for football team when they bring those prospects in in the wintertime and you can see a great basketball game. So I think it's all positive. But Mac and his staff, they just done a tremendous job. Things are really, really looking up.

Yeah. Matt Brown joined us not too long ago and he said he's learned so much from you and learned so much from Coach Smith. And he's taken things that you guys have done and implemented it to his coaching in football. Has anything happened vice versa in that regard with you? You know, it's tougher for us because I just get to see them on Saturday. And sometimes now I've got a pretty good record, 32 years ahead. Coach, unless we've been playing in Alaska or Maui or someplace on Thanksgiving, I think I've missed one home game.

That's because I've had surgery in 32 years, whether it was a Kansas or North Carolina. But during the week, what we're doing is we're the recruiting or we're getting ready to start practice. I usually go by earlier in the year and and watch the practices a couple of times myself. But I do listen to what Coach Brown says after the game and the way he deals with the press, the way he deals with the problems I hear.

And I really do watch those kind of things closely because I know I can gain some things. Coach, thank you so much for spending time in the Triad. I hope you're safe in your home and best of luck continuing on the golf course as well. Thanks for doing this. OK, guys, thank you for having me.

And you guys stay safe. That's tremendous. And that's Coach Williams, typical coach there.

But to dissect in that, we might have to replace some of that with B. Dot and hear the unofficial mascot of Tar Heel Basketball, who will be with us later this hour. However, there is one Wake Forest coaching candidate, a serious coaching candidate that I really just don't get. I don't get it. I'll tell you who that is next.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-02-11 20:44:50 / 2023-02-11 20:52:26 / 8

Get The Truth Mobile App and Listen to your Favorite Station Anytime