Hawks’ Smith Flies With The Best





HANG TIME, TEXAS — Along with electricity, gravity and the remote control, we can add one more item to the list of things we take for granted.

Josh Smith.

Is it because he plays in Atlanta, where the home team usually has been far less entertaining and satisfying than the home team down the road at the TNT studio?

Is it because to the Hawks, life beyond the second round of the playoffs is as mythical as Xanadu or the lost continent of Atlantis?

Is it because of all of Smith’s ill-timed, ill-thought 3-pointers that have resulted in dents in the wall from where we slammed our heads?

Here are some names to consider: Hakeem Olajuwon, David Robinson, Patrick Ewing, Karl Malone, Julius Erving, Tim Duncan, Dirk Nowitzki, Kevin Garnett and J-Smoove.

No, the commonality is not merely that they are all bipeds. It is an honor roll that, by the end of this season, should consist of the only nine players in history to have compiled 10,000 points, 5,000 rebounds, 2,000 assists and 1,000 blocked shots with the same NBA team.

In an excellent piece in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Chris Vivlamore notes that it is the chip on his shoulder that drives Smith on:

“I’ve definitely accomplished a lot of things that a lot of people didn’t think I would accomplish but I’ve always believed in myself,” said Smith, who insists he doesn’t pay attention to statistics. I’m definitely confident. I’m a confident person and I have a hard work ethic.”

The Hawks used the 17th overall selection of the 2004 draft to pick Smith straight out of high school. The words of Jay Bilas on draft night still ring in Smith’s ears, even though he refuses to mention the ESPN analyst by name. At the time of the selection, 10 picks after the Hawks selected Josh Childress, Bilas said this of Smith: “If you had to pick which guy was most likely to be a bust in the first round, it would be this guy. He has no right hand and he can’t shoot.”

While some considered the pick a long-shot, Smith believes quite the opposite.

“I felt like I should have been drafted earlier but things happen,” Smith said. “I’m still here. There are a lot of people that went in front of me that aren’t in this league. When I got called, people said I was going to be the biggest bust in my draft. One particular person. It’s all good. I prevailed. I persevered through all the negativity. I will continue to keep working hard to continue to prove those people wrong.”

Go back to that list of the nine names. While the first eight have all won at least a single MVP award, Smith has never even been named once to play in the All-Star Game. His individual recognition has been as NBA slam dunk champion (2005), All-Rookie Second Team (2005) and All-Defensive Second Team (2010)

The voting for the 2013 All-Star Game in Houston will begin in just a few weeks and by the time the rosters are chosen, there will the usual hue and cry from all over the NBA map about those who were snubbed. Portland’s LaMarcus Aldridge, Philly’s Andrew Bynum (as a Laker) and Denver’s Andre Iguodala (as a Sixer) finally made their maiden All-Star voyages last season. Zach Randolph did it in 2010. This time the cases might be made for Rudy Gay, Andrew Bogut, Luis Scola, Al Jefferson or Greg Monroe.

But whether you’re filling out your ballot online or the old-fashioned way with pen and paper, the smart choice would be to look past all the noise and stop taking Josh Smith for granted.

12 Comments

  1. Corey Casanova says:

    I believe this is the first time i’ve ever commented on really anything. No offense to Joe Johnson or Al hortford great in their own rights, but I’ve never thought of the hawks as anything but josh smith’s team. He Blocks shots, Shoots three’s, pretty good handle for his position, but most importantly never backed down. Can’t tell him nothingggg (Kanye West Voice)

  2. amitpal says:

    I’m sorry but I feel like j smith has underacheived in his career. Ive alwayd felt like with his body type which I actually consider better than lebrons he should have been an elite player. His style of play is actuslly simliar to lebron ans he should be right yhere on top along with lebron and durant. This dude had limitless potential but in reality his work ethic and mindset were just not there.

  3. Tauheedah Hameed says:

    Awww….Im so happy this is J SMooves team now….now lets run this thang out and play the lock down D i know we can

  4. JBR says:

    It’s a bad trait of mine that I sometimes read these editorials and only notice factual errors.

    The question that arose for me is… when did Patrick Ewing ever win an MVP?

    • not a chance says:

      There is no mention of Patrick Ewing winning a MVP in the article.

      • Jon says:

        “Here are some names to consider: Hakeem Olajuwon, David Robinson, Patrick Ewing, Karl Malone, Julius Erving, Tim Duncan, Dirk Nowitzki, Kevin Garnett and J-Smoove.” Further down in the article: “Go back to that list of the nine names. While the first eight have all won at least a single MVP award, Smith has never even been named once to play in the All-Star Game.”

        Reading goes a long way.

      • shaun says:

        “Go back to that list of the nine names. While the first eight have all won at least a single MVP award, Smith has never even been named once to play in the All-Star Game” Ewing is being referred to as one of those 8

  5. Eric Weems says:

    Its your team now Smoove. Now lets do the damn thing and get it. Im tired of ppl saying hawks garbage. Ill be there tonight i want hardin dunked on

  6. Kristie15 says:

    I sure wish we had Josh in Sacramento to be alongside DeMarcus Cousins and Thomas Robinson!

  7. Josh Smith says:

    Thanks Fran, I owe you lunch and a bottle of whatever it is you drink! Seriously, I buy you lunch

    • Kool LC says:

      Josh I been ride or die with yall boys for years. I love the Hawks! But if I see you taking threes this year with all the shooters we have. I’m gonna get locked up at the game cause im gonna run on the court and slap the ish out of you. Freethrow on in thats your game. Love you but I’m tired of holding my breathe when you shoot jumpers lol

    • trueHEATfan says:

      Nevermind the name Josh, I have been a fan of you for years and also feel like you get too comfy with the jumpers. Man you have one of the illest post games I have seen in years. Your too strong, too athletic, and way too talented in the low post to be even bothering with jumpers. Just stay aggresive and close to the rim(10 feet in). If you could do that I bet you will be in MVP conversations because those numbers will almost double and they already looked nice last year. Keep doing your thing Mr.Smith and I give you the surname cuz you have a grown mans game.