Editor’s note: Dean Smith died Saturday at the age of 83. This story about the toll dementia took on the legendary former North Carolina coach was originally posted on March 5, 2014.
CHAPEL HILL, N.C. — Dean Smith doesn’t watch the games anymore. The motion on the screen is too hard to follow. Now he thumbs through golf magazines and picture books. Most of the books are about North Carolina basketball. They seem to make him happy. He turns the pages past photo after photo of himself. Nobody knows if he knows who he is.