We've said for a while now that Roy Williams isn't as good a coach as Dean Smith was. That's not even a shot at Williams - Smith was extraordinary at almost every aspect of coaching. Perhaps his only flaw was an occasional arrogance that revealed itself in a bit of overcoaching, or when his public mask slipped and he said things that were out of character (aka "Mr. Choke" about a Florida State player).
One of the measures of his greatness was his almost total control of his program. Everyone at UNC toed the line, and they did it for years after they left, too.
So while Williams is still winning, and while the Kansas game stands as one that never would have happened under Smith, there are other ways in which he's less rigid, from one point of view, and less effective from another.
Danny Green is a perfect example. He danced on the sidelines all year, something Smith would not have allowed. And while Smith couldn't have forced Green to parrot the party line in Orlando, you can bet your bottom dollar that Green, and his erstwhile teammates, would have.
They've really marked the end of something in Chapel Hill with their comments in Orlando.
Green, Ty Lawson, and Wayne Ellington aren't responsible for the demise of the Dean Way, but they arguably carved the headstone.
First: they'll be happy with a second-round guarantee.
Second: here are some of their comments from Orlando.
Danny Green on talking to Roy Williams about the draft:
âYouâd have to talk to him. I mean, I called him and talked to him about it, but when it came down to it, it was the âBig Three.â So they had their own meeting, and he thought I wasnât thinking about doing it. But I called him and told him about doing it, but he didnât think it was for my best interestsâ¦ He gave me his advice, but I wanted to do it anyway. I wanted to see how good I could do. My familyâs not the richest in the world â not the poorest â but whatever I can do to help my family and whateverâs best for my situation, Iâm going to do. I thought it was best to try and see what I could do this year.â
Ty Lawson: "But that's not the truth (in response to a UNC statement that the players were only 'testing the waters.') "Everybody is in the draft to stay in the draft unless [they get hurt]. Comments like that are misleading to NBA teams, to say we're just testing the waters."
Wayne Ellington (apparently in response to the same thing): âIf youâre in the draft â you canât be halfway in or halfway out, or youâre not going to do as well as you should do.â
Jury's still out on all three as far as the NBA is concerned. Their relationship to Ol' Roy? He'll almost surely take them back, but, well, as we said before, he's no Dean.