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Would you have ever imagined, just because of the generation gap, Dewey Burke feeding Serge Zwikker for a game-winning shot?
"No. It's the way it should be. Steve [Kirschner] came over and said, ‘If it's tied at the end, do you want to play an overtime?' And I said, ‘No.' And I expected it to go right down to the [end]. I really did. I expected it to be a very close game."
What were your most touching moments?
"There's no question everybody getting together in the middle of the court with Coach [Dean] Smith. That was the best for me. But watching the videos, the 100 years – there were a lot of special times for me. I'm very emotional as you guys know."
What does it show about this program for all of these guys to come back?
"Well, it does mean so much. The tradition, the history, the tradition of winning for such a long time. The people that played it and how much they care. The people that watch it and how much they care. It's just a phenomenal thing. I really meant it – I feel very honored and very flattered to be a small part of it, but it was about as neat of a night as you can possibly have."
What, if anything, do you hope your current team learns from this celebration?
"My current team is, needless to say, has all of my focus. But today and the banquet tomorrow night… It was not a reason to have it to see what my team could get out of it, but they're dumb if don't sit there and pay attention. I gave them one instruction today. I said, ‘Don't give me any of this cool stuff. When the video is on, pay attention. When people are talking, pay attention.' I turned around to them when Joe Quigg was [talking], and I said, ‘Guys, you don't understand. That guy made two free throws with six seconds to play and they were down one to win a national championship.' And when you put it in those terms, they do understand it. This was a celebration of what has happened and I'm hopeful that my players can gain something from it, but it was a celebration of what's already been done."
On Dean Smith and his time at UNC:
"As Billy Cunningham said in that interview, he did become a father figure to so many of us that were there who had fathers, but we were away at school. He did things the right way. When he did those things, he would instill that in you. Little things, like being on time, but the other things too, being honest [and] accepting blame. It was just a special time. I could not have thought of a better place to have played, looking back on it. I would not have been the player I was in the NBA if I had not come here."
Was that classic Coach Smith to try to quiet the crowd when he took the floor?
"Very much so. He just always wants to deflect to the other person and wants to give the honor to someone else. Really, that's why everybody loves him, because he is sincere. He's not cocky. He just very much wants the best for the people who played under him. Even when I was a pro, I remember calling him for different things – medical problems, contract problems. I could always pick up the phone and talk to him, and that was just a real comfort for myself and so many guys that came through this program."
What was it like being out there?
"It was great. It was a lot of fun. You have guys that, even though we didn't play here at the same time, we all feel like we're brothers having shared so many of the same memories. Just to see everyone and to see Coach Smith… The fans are great. We have the best fans in the world. Roy and his staff are doing such a great job here and they did such a great job tonight for us. It was just an unbelievable evening and one I'll remember the rest of my life."
Did you play too many minutes?
"Yes, I did. But it was a lot of fun. I couldn't believe Coach [Bill] Guthridge said to play ‘4 Corners.' And I couldn't get Wolfie [Joe Wolf] to go back door. He said he didn't want to go back door because he didn't want to miss the layup."
Does your time spent playing here grow more important the further you get away from it?
"Well, we're all going to get real nostalgic, especially on a night like tonight. You can pretty much get whatever you want out of us tonight. It does make it special… For me, to look back having been a part of it is great. As you leave, you start to realize how much fun you had here and what success you had and how that's not how it always goes. This season is a prime example. There is adversity, but it's basketball. It's a great sport [and] it's a great place to play."
How much fun is a night like this?
"There's so many aspects that make it fun. It's the camaraderie, it's the memories, it's being on the court and playing. It's just being there with living legends. I think for all of us, there were a lot of people who got choked up on the court looking at Dean Smith's video and just what he meant and represented for this program."
On being surrounded by Tar Heel legends:
"It was great. All the faces…. I finally put the faces with the names that I've read about over the years. I just wanted to say ‘thank you' to everybody that paved the way for me. So it was great to finally meet them."
What does it mean to have your jersey honored?
"It's special for me because I'm a local kid. I grew up in the area, so to get my jersey up there is very special. Not only for me, but for my teammates that I played with, my family and I can say my whole community. I think it's a tribute to all of them."