Bobcats Sign Veteran Shooting Guard Steve Smith
September 16, 2004
“Steve Smith is the consummate professional, both on and off the court, and he will be a great leader for our young team,” said Bobcats General Manager and Head Coach Bernie Bickerstaff. “Steve is one of the finest shooters to play the game and he competes every time he steps on the court, which is what our team is all about.”
Smith owns career averages of 14.7 points, 3.4 rebounds and 3.2 assists in 892 games, and has served stints in Miami, Atlanta, Portland, San Antonio and New Orleans. The NBA league leader in three-point percentage in 2001-02, Smith has connected on .357 from the three-point line over his career and his 1,107 career made three-pointers places him 20th in NBA history. Smith’s career total of 13,116 points ranks him 16th among active players.
The 6-8 guard signed as a free agent with the Hornets for the 2003-04 season and appeared in 71 games with averages of 5.0 points, 3.4 rebounds and 3.2 assists in 13.0 minutes. He shot .402 from the three-point line and .928 from the free throw line. His best single-game scoring effort came against Phoenix on March 26, when he connected on 6-8 from the field, including a perfect 4-4 from the three-point arc, for 18 points. During the Hornets first-round playoff series against Miami, he appeared in five games and averaged 6.4 points and 1.6 rebounds in 9.2 minutes, including a 25-point effort in Game 1, backed by 5-7 from the three-point line.
Selected by Miami with the fifth overall pick in the 1991 NBA Draft, Smith spent three seasons with the Heat, garnering All-Rookie First Team honors and leading the team in points and assists the following two seasons. He was traded by Miami to Atlanta at the start of the 1994-95 campaign and averaged 18.5 points over five seasons with the Hawks, including back-to-back seasons with 20.1 points and an NBA All-Star berth in 1998. Smith led the NBA with a .472 three-point field goal percentage in 2001-02 with San Antonio and he was a member of the Spurs’ NBA Championship team in 2002-03.
Smith is one of three players in NBA history to connect on 8-8 from three-point range in a game, equaling the mark set by Jeff Hornacek and Sam Perkins, but becoming the first player to do so from the 23’9” distance. He is also one of three players in NBA history to connect on seven three-pointers in a quarter, joining John Roche and Henry James.
In addition to his NBA success, Smith has enjoyed significant international accomplishments. He was a member of gold-medal winning United States national teams at the 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney and the 1994 World Championships in Toronto.
Smith is recognized as one of the most likable players in the NBA and one of the most active in the community. He won the 2002 NBA Sportsmanship Award and the 1998 J. Walter Kennedy Citizenship Award. In the community, he devotes his time with the Boys and Girls Clubs and he is a member of the Board of Directors for “Reading is Fundamental.”
In the fall of 2001, he established the Steve Smith Endowed Scholarship program, where he donated more than $600,000 to his high school – Pershing High School in Detroit – to benefit Pershing students who attended his college alma mater, Michigan State. Most recently, he donated $2.5 million to Michigan State to build the Clara Bell Smith Student-Activity Center in honor of his late mother.