This is an article from the Feb. 23, 2009 issue
NORTH CAROLINA BASKETBALL COACH
The No. 3 Tar Heels were 23--2 after beating Miami on Sunday.
Dan Patrick: When do you start looking ahead and comparing your team with other teams, like Number 1 UConn?
Roy Williams: Not until we get to conference tournament time. If you were to ask me two first- and second-round NCAA tournament locations, there's no way in Hades I'd be able to give you two. I don't look ahead.
DP: Have you taken a glimpse at Connecticut and thought about how you'd attack them?
RW: I've seen them play three or four times, but never for more than five or 10 minutes, because they're not on our schedule. They're the real deal, there's no question about that. But as far as matchups, I haven't gone that far.
DP: Are the Cameron Crazies mean-spirited or creative?
RW: I think they're more creative now. In the '80s they were tough, a little vulgar, and the [Duke] administration got on them. So every time the referee made a call they didn't like, they'd chant, "We beg to differ. We beg to differ."
DP: If you open your desk drawer right now, are there candy bars in there?
RW: I got some homemade Reese's cups, and they don't last. Everybody's been getting on me because yesterday I told them I had the breakfast of champions: five homemade Reese's cups.
DP: Would you offer Coach K one before a game?
RW: I would. He's probably got enough discipline [not to eat it]. That's the reason I work out eight times a week, so I can eat what the heck I want to eat. I go at least five miles five times a week and work out three times with our strength and conditioning coach.
DP: Would you ever go short sleeves on the sidelines, to show off the guns?
RW: No, I'm not showing off any guns.
DP: If you and Coach K got into it, though, who's my money on?
RW: He's an army guy. I'd have to resort to dirty tricks, I'm sure.
DP: He would take one of those fake charges they take at Duke, wouldn't he?
RW: You said that, not me.
THERE ARE plenty of risks associated with being an elite dunker. Landing awkwardly and busting an ankle. Hitting your head on the backboard. And being remembered for nothing else. Few things in sports can skew a legacy like winning the NBA slam dunk contest. Sure, for Jordan or Kobe it's just a footnote to a stellar career. But plenty of dunk champs—Larry Nance, Kenny Walker, Dee Brown (above), Desmond Mason and last Saturday's winner, Nate Robinson—are very good players whose accomplishments will forever be dwarfed by what they did in an exhibition. It beats not being remembered at all; would Harold Miner's name ring a bell if he hadn't won? But it's not always the fairest measure of a career either.
Hope He Has Insurance
On Sunday 18-year-old Joey Logano became the youngest starter in the history of the Daytona 500 (page 40). Just how much hype surrounds this kid is evident by his nickname: Sliced Bread. Logano signed his first autograph when he was 12, and he used to sit in class practicing his signature. Being in the spotlight at such a young age has made for a strange life: "At times I've got to act more mature than my age—and for me that's quite a bit of time—but other times I can have fun and play video games like a normal 18-year-old kid," he told me. Logano finished last at Daytona after getting knocked into the wall. That wreck wasn't his fault; his previous crash, in his dad's pickup truck, was. "I hit a mailbox the other day," he said. "[The turn] was a little tighter than I thought it would be."
The Labors of Love
O.J. MAYO of the Grizzlies and Minnesota's Kevin Love were traded for each other on draft day. Based on the way they're treated by teammates, I think Mayo was the clear winner in that deal. Mayo has suffered very little hazing. So long as he makes sure there's Gatorade on the bus, he's fine. Love, though, is asked to do more. Love told me that Al Jefferson "will call me to come over and pick up, you know, what his dog leaves in his yard." Risking a fine, Love has refused.
THE FINE PRINT: Lance Armstrong rescinded his offer of Internet access to his drug tests. This would have given new meaning to the phrase streaming video.
Go to DANPATRICK.COM for more from Roy Williams and other recent interviews, and hear live audio of Dan's radio show, 9--noon ET, Mon.--Fri.