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Roy Williams on ‘the ceiling is the roof:’ Michael Jordan can say what he wants

UNC head coach Roy Williams encourages his team to play defense in the closing minute of the game as the Tar Heels defeated the Blue Devils 90-83 at the Dean Smith Center in Chapel Hill, N.C. Saturday, March 4, 2017.
UNC head coach Roy Williams encourages his team to play defense in the closing minute of the game as the Tar Heels defeated the Blue Devils 90-83 at the Dean Smith Center in Chapel Hill, N.C. Saturday, March 4, 2017. cliddy@newsobserver.com

During halftime of North Carolina’s 90-83 victory against Duke on Saturday at the Smith Center, Roy Williams was back in his team’s locker room, saying whatever he could say to help his team. Out on the court, Michael Jordan was saying, “The ceiling is the roof.”

Jordan was back for a glitzy halftime show in which UNC announced that the football team will be wearing Jordan Brand uniforms – replete with the “Jump Man” logo – starting next season. During the show, Jordan took the microphone and addressed the crowd.

He meant to say that there was no limit to the potential of the UNC football program. Instead Jordan said, “The ceiling is the roof.” Almost immediately, the phrase went viral on social media. Two days later, you can buy at least two shirts with those five words written across the front.

Williams, meanwhile, didn’t hear anything about “the ceiling is the roof” until Monday morning, when he woke up and heard someone talking about it on the radio. Then he was asked about it when he appeared on Mike and Mike, ESPN’s nationally broadcast radio show.

“I said I don’t care what he says,” Williams said. “I said, ‘He’s Michael Jordan, anything he dadgum wants to say is OK with me.’ And if anybody wants to criticize him, it’s probably those guys that aren’t Tar Heels. …

“But no. I would assume the phrase probably got mixed up with the sky’s the limit and let it go at that. But it means nothing to me whatsoever. It’s Michael Jordan – do what the dickens he wants to do.”

So there you have it. Dadgum, dickens … the ceiling is the roof.

"Dadgum" or "daggum"? No matter how you spell it, UNC coach Roy Williams possesses his own lexicon and perhaps should come with his own glossary. Call it Roynacular, Williams’ use of expressions and words like "dadgum," “Jimminy Christmas,” “blank

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