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April 15, 2005

Josh Smith Chat Transcript

Josh Smith at the Slam Dunk competition.
NBAE/Getty Images

It's been quite a rookie season for Josh Smith. From straight out of high school to winning the Slam Dunk Contest and starting for the Hawks, "J-Smoove" has been a welcome addition to both the Atlanta franchise and the NBA highlight reels.

The 17th pick in last year's NBA draft out of Oak Hill Academy in Virginia, Smith has started 54 contests for the Hawks, averaging 9.1 ppg and 5.8 rebounds.

In addition to his outstanding dunks on the offensive end, the Atlanta native has performed on the defensive side of the court, leading the team in blocks (and ranking 12th in the NBA) with 1.91 per outing.

Josh joined Hawks.com for a live but if you missed it, here is the transcipt.

Kevin, (Atlanta): What has been your favorite moment of the season so far? What about most frustrating?

Josh Smith: My favorite has been interacting with the rest of my teammates. The frustrating part is the losses. I'm not used to losing this many games, but this is the NBA and I have to adjust and work hard so we don't lose as many games next year.

Lido Beach Ny: Hey Josh When was the first time you dunked the ball?, by the way i loved the dominique jersey in the dunk contest

Josh Smith: Thanks alot for that. I first learned how to dunk at age 13, going from seventh grade to eighth. I was going in for a layup and I kept rising, so I figured let's keep going here, and I dunked it.

JJ, Duluth: Josh, whose idea was it to wear the 'Nique jersey during the dunk contest? Was that a total surprise to him?

Josh Smith: Our trainers from the Hawks thought it would be fun, and it was a total surprise to 'Nique. It was great, because when I did it, I think 'Nique was even happier than I was, he was smiling ear-to-ear.

ken, atl: josh - i heard that you have a camp, can you tell me more about it?

Josh Smith: Yes, the camp is July 1-3 at Georgia Tech and ages are 9-17. The number to call is 404-373-7368 for more information.

randy (alpharetta): what was the moment this year when you knew you had arrived in the nba?

Josh Smith: When I got 10 blocks in Dallas. It was a shock to me and alot of people for a guard, a rookie guard, to get that many blocks in a game. That was when I knew I arrived in the NBA.

Kevin (Westminster): What is your vertical inch jump?

Josh Smith: About 40-inches.

atliens: who do u think is the hardest player to defend in the nba?

Josh Smith: So far, out of the guys I've guarded it would be Carmelo Anthony and Rip Hamilton. They are both tough.

Matt, Cleveland: Josh, is it true that rookies hit the proverbial "wall" during their first NBA season? And did you find yourself getting tired towards the end of the season?

Josh Smith: I think it is true. Everybody hits that wall at some point. I hit it a little bit, but not too much. It's just you get these tired legs and little injuries to your knees and shoulders and start feeling sore.

Andy (Woodstock): Hey Josh You have been working on your jump shot lately. How do you feel shooting the ball and do you think that will become more a part of your game in the near future?

Josh Smith: I think that will happen. It always starts from the jump shot, because if you can't knock it down, they will just sag off of you and make it hard to drive. You have to keep them honest by hitting that jumper and force them to come up on you and then that opens up the rest of your game.

R.E. (Cali): Who do you think the rookie of the year should be?

Josh Smith: Either, man, that's tough. Either Ben Gordon or Emeka Okafur.

Mike, Atlanta: Josh, any predictions for the upcoming NBA playoffs? Who do you think will win it all?

Josh Smith: San Antonio.

Anson (San Francisco): Hey Josh Congradulations on your hard work!! I like the way you dunk the ball!! You joined the NBA straight from high school, what made you to decide to skip college to the pro?

Josh Smith: I felt like I was ready to make that jump. I wanted to fulfill my dream of playing in the NBA.

Jesse (Hampton): If the hawks got the #1 pick in the draft who would you want them to draft?

Josh Smith: Either the Bogut kid from Utah or the Deron Williams kid from Illinois.

Keshia (Tahlequah, Oklahoma): What was the first thing you bought after being drafted to the NBA?

Josh Smith: An Escalade.

TJ, Charlottesville: Josh, do you stay in touch with alum from Oak Hill Academy? What was it like playing for such a powerhouse high school?

Josh Smith: Yeah, I keep in touch with all the guys. With guys like Carmelo Anthony and those other guys who went there, it's an honor to follow in their footsteps.

Chris (Canton): Congratulations on winning the slam dunk competition. With so many former champions in that event, not competing anymore. Will you continue to defend your title? And see this as something you will do often in the upcomming years?

Josh Smith: Thanks so much for the kind words. I don't know, it depends on how the competition goes. It depends on the circumstances.

Houston: How do you feel flying through the air while you're throwing down a spectacular dunk?

Josh Smith: Oh. (Laughing) I just want to keep flying and complete that dunk. Sometimes there's a lot of wind hitting me, it's very exciting, that part of the game.

fred, atl: what was your best dunk

Josh Smith: My best dunk, was probably a one-leg windmill. I jumped on one leg and did a windmill against Toronto.

Josh Smith: I'd like to thank all my supporters, without my fans I wouldn't be anything. And don't forget about my Josh Camp at Georgia Tech!