William Henry "Smush" Parker (born June 1, 1981) is an American professional basketball player who has played in the NBA, the NBA D-League, and several leagues overseas. Parker played shooting guard in college but moved to point guard in the NBA.
Parker was born in Brooklyn and attended Newtown High School in Elmhurst, Queens, where he was a star guard on their varsity basketball team. He then enrolled in the College of Southern Idaho as a freshman in the 1999-2000 season and transferred to play college basketball at Fordham University. Following his sophomore season at Fordham University, he entered the NBA in 2002 but went undrafted. During his sophomore season, he was Second Team All A-10 and Second Team NABC All-Region.
In 2003, he signed with Aris Thessaloniki of the Greek League (FIBA Europe), and helped them win the 2004 Greek Basketball Cup in the final against Olympiacos. He returned to the NBA in 2004, and played for the Detroit Pistons and the Phoenix Suns. He then signed a contract with the Los Angeles Lakers during the summer of 2005.
Little known entering the 2005 season, Parker gained recognition as the starting point guard for the Lakers under coach Phil Jackson. While many experts thought that either newly signed veteran Aaron McKie or Sasha Vujačić would start at point guard, Parker became the surprise starter in the Lakers' season opener against the Denver Nuggets and went on to score at least 20 points in four of his first five Laker games,. This impressed Jackson, and Parker found himself in the starting line-up for the Lakers. From 2005 until 2007, Parker started 162 straight games averaging 11.5 points. During the last two games of the regular season and the playoffs (2006–2007), Parker lost his starting spot to rookie Jordan Farmar. While with the Lakers Parker clashed with coaches and players, and has even admitted to looking off Kobe Bryant and not passing him the ball nearing the end of his second season. Kobe Bryant singled out Parker as a bad teammate, saying in 2012 that Parker "shouldn't have been in the NBA, but we were too cheap to pay for a point guard."
On July 26, 2007, Parker signed with the Miami Heat. For the Heat, Parker wore jersey number 21. His production dropped off dramatically while with the Heat, with averages of 4.8 points, 1.7 assists and 2.1 rebounds, compared to his 11.1 in 164 games with the Los Angeles Lakers.
Due to a physical altercation that Parker had with a parking attendant in November 2007, the Miami Heat put him on paid leave to investigate the matter. On March 10, 2008, the Miami Heat officially waived Parker. The Los Angeles Clippers then signed him for the rest of the season on March 12, 2008.
On July 10, 2008, the Los Angeles Clippers officially renounced their rights to Parker.
In the 2008 off season Parker was signed by the Denver Nuggets but was released on October 23, 2008, as the Nuggets trimmed their roster to the league-allowed 15. He then played with the Rio Grande Valley Vipers of the NBA Development League.
On January 9, 2009, Parker officially signed with Guangdong Southern Tigers of the Chinese Basketball Association, making him one of the better known foreign players employed in the CBA, which was due mainly to his exposure gained in the country playing alongside Kobe Bryant.
In January 2012, Parker signed with Petrochimi Bandar Imam of the Iranian Basketball Super League. He later played in Venezuela, then signed with the Indios de San Francisco de Macorís of the Dominican Republic.
In June 2014, Parker played in The Basketball Tournament. His team reached the semi-finals, and Parker's averages for the tournament were 16.2 points, 7.8 rebounds, 7.0 assists and 1.8 steals per game.
NBA career statistics
|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|
- "Smush Parker bio". NBA. Archived from the original on March 8, 2009.
- "Days after being cut by Heat, Parker signs with Clippers". Sports.espn.go.com. 2008-03-12. Retrieved 2012-10-17.
- "Flores Named To NABC District 2 Second Team". GoJaspers.com. February 11, 2002. Retrieved December 27, 2011.
- "Cavaliers Sign Matt Barnes and Smush Parker to Contracts". NBA.com. September 25, 2002. pp. D1.
- "Los Angeles Lakers at Denver Nuggets Box Score November 2, 2005". Basketball-Reference.com. Retrieved December 27, 2011.
- "Phoenix Suns at Los Angeles Lakers Box Score, November 3, 2005". Basketball-Reference.com. Retrieved December 27, 2011.
- "Atlanta Hawks at Los Angeles Lakers Box Score, November 8, 2005". Basketball-Reference.com. Retrieved December 27, 2011.
- Jackson, Barry (July 27, 2008). "Heat agrees to terms with guard Parker". Miami Herald. pp. D1.
- "of the Miami Heat at". Miamihoopsgear.com. Retrieved 2012-10-17.
- Clippers fall, sign Parker[dead link]
- "Spartak pegs Parker at point guard". Eurocupbasketball.com. 2010-09-05. Retrieved 2012-10-17.
- "Iraklis lands Smush Parker". Sportando.net. Retrieved 2012-10-17.
- "Iranian team Petro signs Smush Parker and Joseph Forte | Asia". Sportando. Retrieved 2012-10-17.
- Smush Parker. Latin-Basket
- "Indios Contratan Ex Nba Smush Parker". Lnb.com.do. Retrieved 2012-10-17.
- "Cibona adds Smush Parker". Eurobasket.com. 10 December 2012. Retrieved 27 March 2014.
- "Smush Parker released by Cibona". court-side.com. January 16, 2013. Retrieved March 27, 2014.
- "Smush Parker signs with Guaros de Lara". Sportando.com. January 8, 2014. Retrieved March 27, 2014.
- "Guaros de Lara replace Smush Parker with Devin Green". Sportando.com. Retrieved March 27, 2014.