Charles Smith (basketball, born 1965)

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Charles Smith
Personal information
Born (1965-07-16) July 16, 1965 (age 51)
Bridgeport, Connecticut
Nationality American
Listed height 6 ft 10 in (2.08 m)
Listed weight 230 lb (104 kg)
Career information
High school Warren Harding
(Bridgeport, Connecticut)
College Pittsburgh (1984–1988)
NBA draft 1988 / Round: 1 / Pick: 3rd overall
Selected by the Philadelphia 76ers
Playing career 1988–1997
Position Power forward
Number 54, 6
Career history
19881992 Los Angeles Clippers
19921996 New York Knicks
1996 Florida Beach Dogs
1996–1997 San Antonio Spurs
Career highlights and awards
Career NBA statistics
Points 8,107 (14.4 ppg)
Rebounds 3,246 (5.8 rpg)
Assists 798 (1.4 apg)
Stats at

Charles Daniel Smith (born July 16, 1965) is an American retired professional basketball player who played in the NBA.

College career[edit]

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.[1] 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.

He played for the US national team in the 1986 FIBA World Championship, that won the gold medal.[2] and the 1988 Olympics which won a bronze medal.

NBA career[edit]

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 Knicks 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 4 straight times directly under the basket, despite his huge height advantage, as he attempted to give New York the lead in Game 5 of the 1993 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.[3]


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[4] for about 6 years. Smith was also a motivational speaker.[5] He later returned to school to work on his Masters in management, finishing up at Seton Hall University.[6]

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.[5] Smith left the NBRPA in 2010[7] and later helped establish the Pro Basketball Alumni Association.[4]

Smith traveled to North Korea in January 2014 with Dennis Rodman to further Rodman's "Basketball Diplomacy" effort with North Korea leader Kim Jong Un.[8]


External links[edit]