Rik Smits

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Rik Smits
RikSmits headshot.jpg
No. 24, 45
Center
Personal information
Born (1966-08-23) August 23, 1966 (age 48)
Eindhoven, Netherlands
Nationality Dutch
Listed height 7 ft 4 in (2.24 m)
Listed weight 250 lb (113 kg)
Career information
College Marist (1984–1988)
NBA draft 1988 / Round: 1 / Pick: 2nd overall
Selected by the Indiana Pacers
Pro career 1988–2000
Career history
19882000 Indiana Pacers
Career highlights and awards
Career NBA statistics
Points 12,871 (14.8 ppg)
Rebounds 5,277 (6.1 rpg)
Blocks 1,111 (1.3 bpg)
Stats at Basketball-Reference.com

Rik Smits (born August 23, 1966) is a retired Dutch professional basketball player who spent his entire professional career with the Indiana Pacers of the National Basketball Association. The 7'4" (2.24 m) center was drafted by the Pacers out of Marist College[1] with the second overall pick in the 1988 NBA Draft.[2] The Dutch-born player was nicknamed "The Dunkin' Dutchman".

Biography[edit]

With the Pacers, Smits originally backed up Steve Stipanovich, but when Stipanovich suffered a terrible injury that ended his career, Smits ended up starting 71 games in his rookie year, averaging 11.7 points and 6.1 rebounds per game and earning All-Rookie First Team honors. Smits continued to average double-digit point totals in every year of his career, but it wasn't until 1993-1994 that Smits really came into his own as a team leader.

Throughout the Pacers' playoff runs in the mid- and late-1990s, Smits was considered the number two player, behind Reggie Miller, on the deeply talented Pacers team. Smits' highest point-per-game average was in 1995–96 when he averaged 18.5 points per game, relatively modest by NBA "superstar" standards, but the Dutchman endeared himself to Pacers fans with outstanding playoff performances, most notably in Game 4 of the 1995 Eastern Conference Finals where he made a buzzer-beating shot to tie the series.

Smits was named to the Eastern Conference All-Star team in 1998, delivering 10 points, 7 rebounds and 4 assists, including a spectacular behind-the-back pass to New Jersey Nets forward Jayson Williams who followed immediately with a slam dunk.

Smits developed nerve damage in his feet from wearing tight shoes as a teenager.[3] Foot problems hobbled Smits for the majority of his career, and he retired at the conclusion of the Pacers' 1999–2000 season, after Indiana was defeated by the Los Angeles Lakers in the NBA Finals 4 games to 2.

Rik Smits visits Marist College on Alumni Day.

After four surgeries to repair nerve damage to his feet, Smits underwent intensive back surgery in November 2009 to correct cracks in one joint that link his vertebrae. Smits has also undergone arthroscopic surgery on his left knee and had bone chips removed from his left ankle.[3]

Rik Smits was selected to the Pacers' 40th Anniversary Team, which was chosen by the fans. He ended up with the fourth most votes, trailing only Reggie Miller, Mel Daniels and Jermaine O'Neal.

Life after the NBA[edit]

In his retirement, Smits is devoting his time to collecting and racing vintage motocross motorcycles.[4] On November 30, 2011, the erstwhile Marist and Pacers center was featured in a www.LostLetterman.com article, via Yahoo! Sports, about his formal participation in competitive motorcross racing.[5]

NBA career statistics[edit]

Legend
  GP Games played   GS  Games started  MPG  Minutes per game
 FG%  Field goal percentage  3P%  3-point field goal percentage  FT%  Free throw percentage
 RPG  Rebounds per game  APG  Assists per game  SPG  Steals per game
 BPG  Blocks per game  PPG  Points per game  Bold  Career high

Regular season[edit]

Year Team GP GS MPG FG% 3P% FT% RPG APG SPG BPG PPG
1988–89 Indiana 82 71 24.9 .517 .000 .722 6.1 .9 0.4 1.8 11.7
1989–90 Indiana 82 82 29.3 .533 .000 .811 6.2 1.7 .6 2.1 15.5
1990–91 Indiana 76 38 22.2 .485 .000 .762 4.7 1.1 .3 1.5 10.9
1991–92 Indiana 74 55 23.9 .510 .000 .788 5.6 1.6 .4 1.4 13.8
1992-93 Indiana 81 81 25.6 .486 .000 .732 5.3 1.5 .3 .9 14.3
1993–94 Indiana 78 75 27.1 .534 .000 .793 6.2 2.0 .6 1.0 15.7
1994–95 Indiana 78 78 30.5 .526 .000 .753 7.7 1.4 .5 1.0 17.9
1995–96 Indiana 63 63 30.2 .521 .200 .788 6.9 1.7 .3 0.7 18.5
1996–97 Indiana 52 52 29.2 .486 .250 .797 6.9 1.3 .4 1.1 17.1
1997–98 Indiana 73 69 28.6 .495 .000 .783 6.9 1.4 .6 1.2 16.7
1998–99 Indiana 49 49 25.9 .490 .000 .818 5.6 1.1 .4 1.1 14.9
1999–2000 Indiana 79 79 23.4 .484 .000 .739 5.1 1.1 .2 1.3 12.9
Career 867 792 26.6 .507 .115 .773 6.1 1.4 .4 1.2 14.8
All-Star 1 0 21.0 .429 .000 1.000 7.0 4.0 .0 2.0 10.0

Playoffs[edit]

Year Team GP GS MPG FG% 3P% FT% RPG APG SPG BPG PPG
1989–90 Indiana 3 3 32.0 .500 .000 .818 5.3 1.0 .7 1.3 12.3
1990–91 Indiana 5 0 17.6 .568 .000 .875 3.6 .4 .2 1.4 9.8
1991–92 Indiana 3 1 9.3 .364 .000 1.000 2.0 .0 .7 .3 3.3
1992–93 Indiana 4 4 35.8 .578 .000 .727 8.0 1.8 1.2 1.0 22.5
1993–94 Indiana 16 16 28.1 .472 .000 .806 5.3 1.9 .6 .6 16.0
1994–95 Indiana 17 17 32.1 .547 1.000 .804 7.0 2.0 0.3 0.8 20.1
1995–96 Indiana 5 5 33.2 .545 .000 .786 7.4 1.6 .4 .4 19.0
1997–98 Indiana 16 16 29.8 .502 .000 .859 5.3 1.3 .5 .9 16.6
1998–99 Indiana 13 13 22.5 .456 .000 .950 5.0 .7 .5 1.2 11.8
1999–00 Indiana 22 21 21.0 .498 .000 .875 3.5 1.0 .4 .9 11.0
Career 104 96 26.4 .507 .250 .829 5.2 1.3 .5 .9 14.8

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

External links[edit]