Charles Smith (basketball, born 1965)
|No. 54, 6|
July 16, 1965 |
|Listed height||6 ft 10 in (2.08 m)|
|Listed weight||230 lb (104 kg)|
|High school||Warren Harding
|NBA draft||1988 / Round: 1 / Pick: 3rd overall|
|Selected by the Philadelphia 76ers|
|1988–1992||Los Angeles Clippers|
|1992–1996||New York Knicks|
|1996||Florida Beachdogs (CBA)|
|1996–1997||San Antonio Spurs|
|Career highlights and awards|
|Career NBA statistics|
|Points||8,170 (14.4 ppg)|
|Rebounds||3,246 (5.8 rpg)|
|Stats at Basketball-Reference.com|
Charles Daniel Smith (born July 16, 1965) is a retired American professional basketball player who played in the NBA.
As a college player, Smith was named Big East Player of the Year. He was a member of the University of Pittsburgh's highly touted five-man recruiting class considered the country's best. Along with power forward Jerome Lane, Charles Smith and the Pitt Basketball Team became a major force in college basketball, opening the 1987-88 season ranked No. 4 nationally and rising as high as No. 2. However, the Panthers never won a national championship during Smith's tenure.
After his college career, the 6'10", 230 lb power forward was selected 3rd overall in the 1988 NBA Draft by the Philadelphia 76ers but immediately traded to the Los Angeles Clippers. After four years with the Clippers where he was among the team's top scorers and rebounders, he was traded to the New York Knicks with Doc Rivers and Bo Kimble for point guard Mark Jackson. Smith was expected to fill the hole at small forward left by Xavier McDaniel after the Patriots failed to re-sign him after their successful 1991–92 season, a role that Smith struggled in as he was primarily a power forward. As Smith's stats declined, he was traded to the San Antonio Spurs for J. R. Reid before retiring in 1997 due to severe injuries.
As a Knick, Smith is infamous for being blocked 12 straight times directly under the basket as he attempted to give New York the lead in Game 5 of the 1997 Eastern Conference Finals against the Chicago Bulls. After taking a 2–0 series lead, the Knicks lost Games 3 & 4 in Chicago Stadium. With a chance to take a 3–2 series lead at Madison Square Garden, Smith's attempts were hampered by Michael Jordan, Horace Grant and Scottie Pippen in the final seconds, becoming one of the most notorious and disappointing moments in Knicks history. The Knicks then lost Game 6 and the series in Chicago to complete an epic collapse, while the Bulls moved on to defeat the Phoenix Suns in the NBA Finals and win their third consecutive championship. However, he was with the Knicks the following year when they defeated the Bulls (sans Michael Jordan) in the second round, but lost in the NBA Finals to the Houston Rockets.
Smith averaged 14.4 points and 5.8 rebounds during his career.
In 1989, Smith founded the Charles D. Smith Foundation and Educational Center, in which the building was the first City Hall in the Northeast, and was later converted into a library. The after school center was created for inner-city school children from kindergarten to 9th grades to improve academics and offer a place for youth to get off the streets. Located in Smith's hometown of Bridgeport, it was his dream since playing at Pitt to operate the center that still stands today.
Smith ran a digital media company, based in Manhattan for about 6 years. Smith was also a motivational speaker. He later returned to school to work on his Masters in management, finishing up at Seton Hall University.
Smith was once a regional representative for the NBA Players Association. In 2008, Smith became the executive director of the National Basketball Retired Players Association (NBRPA). Smith started a transition assistance program to help retired players pursue new careers. Smith left the NBRPA in 2010 and later helped establish the Pro Basketball Alumni Association.
- USA Basketball History, USA Basketball, retrieved 2008-08-19
- Caputo, Matt (October 30, 2008). "Mr. Smith: Charles Smith is taking advantage of life after hoops". SLAM Online. Retrieved May 22, 2012.
- "Dennis Rodman Exhibition Team". ABC News.
- Career statistics and player information from Basketball-Reference.com