Remembering Former #1 Pick Joe “Beast” Smith
Do you remember when Joe Smith played for your favorite team? Or maybe teams? And the team you hated the most? The former #1 pick of the 1995 NBA Draft played for a NBA record 12 teams during his 16 year career and although he’s put up solid numbers for many of those seasons with half of the teams in the NBA, I always wondered how things would have been if he would have stayed with the Warriors.
For those who just look at his draft placement (drafted before players like KG, McDyess, Sheed and Stack) and lack of NBA awards and assume he was a bust, you should know that he finished 2nd in ROY voting that season – Damon Stoudamire won the award – and was a beast right from the start: He had a 30 point 8 rebound game in just his 4th NBA game and multiple 20/20 games during his impressive rookie campaign.
He started off his 2nd season even hotter, with multiple 30 point games, including a 36 & 17 one against the Raptors and rookie of the year Damon Stoudamire.
But midway through Smith’s final season of his rookie contract, he asked to be traded back to the east coast and ended up with Iverson’s 76ers. That stint didn’t last long and Smith signed with the TWolves the following season. Then we had a little drama here, a trade there, another trade back to here, a free-agent signing everywhere and in 2011 Smith decided to end his basketball journey.
Since today is Smith’s birthday, I thought I would celebrate his life journey and the first few seasons of his basketball journey with some great videos of Smith with the Warriors. Enjoy!
And yes he probably played with your favorite player…