Joe Smith, biography

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In this blog post, we will take a look at his life and career, from his humble beginnings in Norfolk, Virginia, to his coaching role with CoachUp.

Joe Smith is a name that may not ring a bell for many NBA fans today, but he was once the most coveted prospect in the nation. Smith was the College Player of the Year at Maryland in 1995 and the No. 1 pick of that season’s NBA draft, selected by the Golden State Warriors. 

He went on to play for 12 teams in his 16-year career, making him one of the most traded players in league history. In this blog post, we will take a look at his life and career, from his humble beginnings in Norfolk, Virginia, to his coaching role with CoachUp.

Early Life and College Career

Smith was born on July 26, 1975, in Norfolk, Virginia, to his parents, Joe McFarland and Letha Smith. He took his mother’s surname, as his father was not married to her. He had six older siblings from his mother’s previous marriage. His mother worked as a maid and then as a medical clerk to support her children. She encouraged Smith to pursue his education and basketball dreams.

Smith attended Maury High School, where he excelled in basketball. He led his team to the state championship game in his senior year, averaging 27.4 points, 12.6 rebounds, and 5.5 blocks per game. He was named the Virginia Player of the Year and a third-team Parade All-American. He also maintained a 3.9 GPA and was a member of the National Honor Society.

Smith chose to play college basketball at the University of Maryland, where he became one of the best players in the school’s history. He played for two seasons under coach Gary Williams, leading the Terrapins to two Sweet 16 appearances in the NCAA Tournament. 

As a sophomore, Smith averaged 20.8 points and 10.6 rebounds per game, and was named the Naismith College Player of the Year, the AP Player of the Year, the UPI Player of the Year, the Adolph Rupp Trophy winner, a consensus first-team All-American, and the ACC Player of the Year. 

He also scored a career-high 40 points and made a game-winning tip-in against Duke on March 2, 1995. He finished his college career as Maryland’s all-time leader in blocks (185) and second in scoring average (20.1).

NBA Career

Smith declared for the 1995 NBA draft after his sophomore season, and was selected by the Golden State Warriors as the first overall pick, ahead of future stars like Kevin Garnett, Rasheed Wallace, and Jerry Stackhouse. He signed a three-year, $8.5 million contract with the Warriors, becoming the first rookie to sign under the NBA’s new rookie salary scale.

Smith had a solid rookie season with the Warriors, averaging 15.3 points and 8.7 rebounds per game. He was named to the NBA All-Rookie First Team and finished third in the Rookie of the Year voting behind Damon Stoudamire and Arvydas Sabonis. He improved his numbers in his second season, averaging 18.7 points and 8.5 rebounds per game. However, he clashed with coach Rick Adelman over his role and playing time, and requested a trade.

In his third season, Smith was traded to the Philadelphia 76ers, along with Brian Shaw, for Clarence Weatherspoon and Jim Jackson. He played 28 games for the 76ers, averaging 10.3 points and 5.1 rebounds per game. He then became a free agent and signed a one-year, $1.75 million contract with the Minnesota Timberwolves, joining Kevin Garnett and Stephon Marbury.

Smith had a productive season with the Timberwolves, averaging 13.7 points and 8.5 rebounds per game. He helped the team reach the playoffs for the first time in franchise history, but they lost to the Seattle SuperSonics in the first round. Smith then signed another one-year deal with the Timberwolves, hoping to cash in on a bigger contract in the future.

However, Smith’s plan backfired, as the NBA discovered that he and the Timberwolves had agreed to a secret deal that would pay him $86 million over seven years after his second one-year contract expired. This violated the league’s salary cap rules and collective bargaining agreement. As a result, the NBA voided Smith’s contract, fined the Timberwolves $3.5 million, and stripped them of five first-round draft picks. Smith was also banned from re-signing with the Timberwolves until 2003.

Smith then signed a six-year, $34 million contract with the Detroit Pistons, but he struggled to fit in with the team. He averaged 12.3 points and 7.4 rebounds per game in his first season with the Pistons, but his numbers dropped to 8.2 points and 6.7 rebounds per game in his second season. He was traded back to the Timberwolves in 2000, along with Chauncey Billups, for Terrell Brandon.

Smith played three more seasons with the Timberwolves, but he never regained his form from his first stint with the team. He averaged 9.3 points and 6.1 rebounds per game in his second tenure with the Timberwolves, and was a role player on the team that reached the Western Conference Finals in 2004. He was then traded to the Milwaukee Bucks, along with Anthony Peeler, for Sam Cassell and Ervin Johnson.

Smith spent three seasons with the Bucks, averaging 8.6 points and 5.2 rebounds per game. He was then traded to the Denver Nuggets, along with Ruben Patterson and Michael Ruffin, for Earl Boykins, Julius Hodge, and cash. He played only 11 games for the Nuggets, averaging 5.1 points and 3.6 rebounds per game, before being waived.

Smith then signed with the Philadelphia 76ers for the remainder of the 2006-07 season, averaging 5.1 points and 4.5 rebounds per game in 24 games. He then signed with the Chicago Bulls for the 2007-08 season, averaging 11.2 points and 5.6 rebounds per game in 50 games. He was then traded to the Cleveland Cavaliers, along with Ben Wallace, Wally Szczerbiak, and Delonte West, for Larry Hughes, Drew Gooden, Cedric Simmons, and Shannon Brown.

Smith played 27 games for the Cavaliers, averaging 8.1 points and 5 rebounds per game. He helped the team reach the Eastern Conference Semifinals, where they lost to the Boston Celtics in seven games. He then re-signed with the Cavaliers for the 2008-09 season, but he was traded to the Oklahoma City Thunder, along with Damon Jones, for Adrian Griffin, Darnell Jackson, and a 2009 second-round pick.

Smith played 36 games for the Thunder, averaging 6.6 points and 4.5 rebounds per game. He was then waived by the Thunder and re-signed with the Cavaliers for the remainder of the 2008-09 season. He played 21 games for the Cavaliers, averaging 4.5 points and 3.9 rebounds per game. He helped the team reach the Eastern Conference Finals, where they lost to the Orlando Magic in six games.

Smith then signed with the Atlanta Hawks for the 2009-10 season, averaging 3 points and 2.5 rebounds per game in 64 games. He helped the team reach the Eastern Conference Semifinals, where they were swept by the Orlando Magic. He then signed with the New Jersey Nets for the 2010-11 season, averaging 0.5 points and 0.8 rebounds per game in four games. He was then traded to the Los Angeles Lakers, along with Sasha Vujacic and two first-round picks, for Terrence Williams and Joe Smith.

Smith played 12 games for the Lakers, averaging 0.5 points and 1.2 rebounds per game. He helped the team reach the Western Conference Semifinals, where they were swept by the Dallas Mavericks. Smith then retired from the NBA after the 2010-11 season, having played 1,030 games and scored 11,208 points.

Post-NBA Career and Personal Life

After retiring from the NBA, Smith pursued his passion for music. He released several rap albums under the name Joe Beast, collaborating with artists like Fabolous, Ja Rule, and Lil Wayne. He also appeared on MTV’s Cribs and VH1’s Basketball Wives.

Smith also became a coach with CoachUp, a private coaching service that connects athletes with coaches. He offers basketball lessons and mentoring to young players who want to improve their skills and confidence.

Smith has been married twice in his life. His first wife was Yolanda Smith, whom he married in 1996. They had two children together, a son named Joe Smith Jr. and a daughter named Kayla Smith. They divorced in 2007. His second wife is Kisha Chavis, whom he married in 2010. They have one child together, a son named Jaylen Smith.

Smith is also involved in various charitable causes, such as the Joe Smith Foundation, which provides scholarships and mentoring to underprivileged youth. He also supports the American Cancer Society, the Boys and Girls Club, and the Make-A-Wish Foundation.

Has Joe Smith Won Any Awards?

Yes, Joe Smith has won several awards in his basketball career. Some of them are:

  • NBA All-Rookie First Team (1996)

  • AP Player of The Year (1995)

  • Naismith Player of The Year (1995)

  • UPI College Player of The Year (1995)

  • ACC Player of The Year (1995)

  • Adolph Rupp Trophy (1995)

  • Consensus first-team All-American (1995)

  • ACC Rookie of The Year (1994)

Controversy And Activism Of Joe Smith

Joseph Smith was a controversial figure in his lifetime and remains so today. He claimed to have received visions and revelations from God, restored the true church of Jesus Christ, translated ancient scriptures, and practiced plural marriage. He faced persecution, violence, and legal troubles from his opponents, who accused him of fraud, blasphemy, treason, and polygamy. He was killed by a mob in 1844 while awaiting trial in Carthage, Illinois.

Joseph Smith was also an activist in some respects. He advocated for religious freedom, abolition of slavery, Native American rights, and women’s suffrage. He ran for president of the United States in 1844 on a platform that included these issues. He also organized a militia called the Nauvoo Legion to defend his followers from attacks. He was involved in several conflicts with other groups, such as the Missouri War of 1838 and the Illinois Mormon War of 1844.

Joe Smith, the former NBA player, was not as controversial or activist as Joseph Smith, the Mormon prophet. He had a long and journeyman career in the NBA, playing for 12 teams in 16 seasons. He was the No. 1 pick of the 1995 NBA draft, but he never lived up to his potential. 

He was involved in a secret deal with the Minnesota Timberwolves that violated the NBA’s salary cap rules and resulted in heavy penalties for the team. He also faced financial troubles due to taxes, agent fees, management fees, lavish spending, bad investments, and divorce. He is now working as a part-time basketball coach and trying to rebuild his finances with the help of former MLB star Alex Rodriguez.

Joe Smith, the former NBA player, did not have much involvement in social or political causes. He pursued his passion for music after retiring from the NBA, releasing several rap albums under the name Joe Beast. 

He also appeared on MTV’s Cribs and VH1’s Basketball Wives. He is involved in various charitable causes, such as the Joe Smith Foundation, which provides scholarships and mentoring to underprivileged youth. He also supports the American Cancer Society, the Boys and Girls Club, and the Make-A-Wish Foundation.

What Is Joe Smith Net Worth?

Joe Smith has a net worth of $100,000 as of 2024. This is a significant decline from his peak earnings as an NBA player, when he reportedly made over $61 million in his 16-year career. However, Smith faced financial troubles due to taxes, agent fees, management fees, lavish spending, bad investments, and divorce. He is now working as a part-time basketball coach and trying to rebuild his finances with the help of former MLB star Alex Rodriguez.

Conclusion

Joe Smith is a former NBA player who had a long and journeyman career. He was the No. 1 pick of the 1995 NBA draft, but he never lived up to his potential. He played for 12 teams in his 16

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