> News  > J.R. Reid Talks With Dr. Smack
J.R. Reid Talks With Dr. Smack
Posted April 26, 2011 at 09:19 am 0 COMMENTS Bookmark and Share

If there’s anyone out there who still does not know what shade of blue my blood is, you obviously haven’t read many of my articles. Although I try my best (at times) to be as neutral as I can when creating videos or writing articles or simply posting content to either Facebook or the website (www.RivalryRage.com), I fail miserably most every time. Of course when your blood is Tar Heel blue, you simply can’t help it…in fact, I’ll go right ahead and say it’s pretty much impossible, at least for me.

I was born in the early 80’s, the summer before Michael Jordan drained the game winning shot against Georgetown to win Dean Smith’s first NCAA national championship. I think I was about 10 months old, and even though I don’t remember this epic event, I know I was in the living room watching it with my dad. About 6 ½ years later I started playing the wonderful game of basketball, trying my best to “be like Mike” and other UNC greats. One Carolina player in particular that I tried to imitate more than once while playing was J.R. Reid, a big time recruit from Kempsville High School in Virginia Beach, Virginia. He was the best player UNC had seen since MJ had left just a few years earlier.

So here we are, nearly 23 years later and I’m pushing 30, hardly remembering the days of all those hard fought wins I won for UNC on the dirt court in my parent’s backyard. A month or so ago I was on Facebook and came across…you guessed it…J.R. Reid. So I figured what the heck, I’ll send him a friend request, and wouldn’t you know it, he accepted it!!!! I was now friends with J.R. Reid!! Another shot in the dark, or so I thought, was to ask Mr. Reid to do an interview with Dr. Smack from Rivalry Rage.com…you know, my alter ego. And wouldn’t you know it, he agreed to do it! Becoming the first interview we have ever gotten on Rivalry Rage. So I typed up a few questions and the interview was underway:

Mr. Reid, what was it like to play for Dean Smith at North Carolina?

“Playing for Coach Smith was an honor and a "no brainer." UNC had the best returning team (K. Smith, J. Wolf, D. Popson, J. Lebo, etc....) A 98% graduation rate, and of course Coach Smith himself.”

Of course I figured that his response would be something like that, but I had always dreamed of playing for Dean Smith, so I had to ask someone who had actually played for the god-like coach.

So any of you on here that are UNC fans, I’m sure you want me to ask him about dook…or “duke”, my bad. Well here I go:

Can you tell us about your first experience playing the Duke Blue Devils?

“The 1st time playing against Duke wasn't that big of a deal to me. At the time (my freshman yr) I looked at NC State as our rival game. It later became Duke.”

So I’m not going to lie, I felt a little stupid with this one because I should have known better. The Pack was the Heels’ big rival in the 70’s and 80’s, don’t you remember, that’s when State was actually good at something. I mean, had I really forgotten the little jingle “can’t get to heaven in a red canoe because God’s favorite color is Carolina blue”? Man, I used to sing that all the time! Just like “duke is puke, wake is fake, but the team I hate is N. C. State.” Oh well, I mean he did say that it “later became Duke.”

Anyway, moving on to question 3, and something that I was clueless about until now…partially because I was only 8 when it happened. But in the 1988-1989 season, Reid’s junior year at UNC, some duke students put together a sign that read, “J.R. Cant Reid” during the first meeting of the season between the two schools. It was an ordeal that caused a lot of attention, mainly because of the involvement from both Dean Smith and coach k. UNC spanked duke in the first meeting at Cameron Indoor, but duke came to Chapel Hill just a few weeks later and beat UNC on senior night. A week after that UNC faced off against duke one more time in the ACC championship game in Atlanta, and that game ended up being one of the most intense duke vs Carolina games ever:

How much of an impact did the “J.R. Cant Reid” sign have on you and how big a part did that play in UNC winning the 1989 ACC Championship that same year?

“None at all... The Duke fans really motivated us and brought our team together in a hostile environment. I had always had good grades in high school and college and I came from a household where education was always first - both of my parents were school teachers. I realized the "JR can't read' was just a play on words. Didn't affect me at all.”

Side note, Reid’s SAT score was higher than the two star players on the duke squad at the time. You may remember them…Christian Laettner and Danny Ferry.

Tell us about that 1989 ACC Championship game. Some people still refer to that game as a full on war.

“Yes, the '89 game was one of the most physical in ACC history, the two teams genuinely didn't like each other. The interchange between Coach Smith and Coach K during the game just seemed to really get us more determined to "stick it to them."

Now see I like that, I don’t ever want my Heels to like anyone or anything about duke. And by the way, UNC beat duke in the ACC title game 77-74 ;)

So on to my next question, and one that I totally expected a different response to, but one I had to ask:

Your former teammate Dennis Rodman was just inducted into the hall of fame. He would no doubt be in the hall of fame of trash talkers if there were such a thing. What was the craziest thing you ever heard him tell another player…of can you even repeat it?

“To be honest, Dennis didn't talk much trash... he was a very quiet guy, but when he smelled the popcorn popping and it was game time, he became a warrior. One of the hardest working guys I've been around. "D-Rod" had a way of getting under his opponents skin without having to say too much -- a very physical player that really never got the credit he deserved for his knowledge of the game.”

Dennis Rodman was a joy to watch, some people didn’t like him, all of which were for stupid reasons, but Rodman had heart and played with passion that cannot be found in every professional athlete. I can only imagine what it was like to play with such a competitor.

So next to the last question…what life lessons have you learned from the game of basketball both collegiately and professionally?

“I learned with hard work, anything can be attained. Use whatever it is you need to use as motivation... just get it done.”

Please tell us all about your basketball camp and how basketball fans can register for your camp?

“Since I retired, I have started the JR Reid Outreach Program -- a non profit organization that goes to various communities where kids don't usually get the attention from former college and pro players. We work with area businesses and individuals to offer sponsorships to kids, who otherwise might not ever get a chance to go to camp and hear from others that have gained success in many different fields. We teach balance in life -- through diet, education, and physical activity. We feel basketball can be used as a vehicle to achieve a variety of goals. Please visit our website, www.hrbc-jrreid.com, to read more about what we are trying to accomplish.”

And that my friends is what a true member of the Carolina family looks like. A man who has worked hard to get where he is today, and giving back to the community as a way to help others fulfill their dreams just as he did.

A very special thank you to J.R. Reid for taking the time to talk with me and answer my questions. It was a privilege and honor for Rivalry Rage’s first ever interview to be with J.R. Reid. We hope that everyone will please check out his website (www.hrbc-jrreid.com) and see how your child or someone you may know can be a part of his wonderful camp.


Stephen Bethea aka “Dr. Smack” – Rivalry Rage, Inc.