Jon Cooper - Remember When... - March 19, 2010

Remember When...
A look back to 1995, Joe Smith's rookie year.
By Jon Cooper

Tuesday night in New Jersey, Joe Smith played in the 1,000th game of his NBA career.

It took the 34-year-old Smith 14 seasons and 10 teams (he played twice with Philadelphia and Minnesota) to reach the milestone.

Such longevity and perseverance are quite impressive — not to mention the 11,165 points, 6,524 rebounds, 26,822 minutes, and 4,307 field goals in 9,451 attempts that he's reached along the way. (all numbers are through March 18).

But to get a true measure of the breadth of Smith's NBA career, take a look at some of the following facts and figures from 1995, the year Smith made his NBA debut.

• Tiger Woods made the cut at the Masters...as an AMATEUR. It was his first appearance at Augusta and he played as the U.S. Amateur Champion. Rick Reilly, described him in Sports Illustrated as "the 19-year-old dervish. (BTW: Ben Crenshaw won the event at 14-under, one stroke ahead of Davis Love, III).

• Michael Jordan led the NBA in scoring (30.4 ppg), Dennis Rodman led in rebounds (14.9 rpg), John Stockton led in assists (11.2 apg), and Gary Payton led in steals per game (2.9 spg). Atlanta's Mookie Blaylock was third in three-pointers (231), 19th in assists per game (5.9) and second in steals per game (2.6), while Grant Long was 15th in rebounds (9.6, tied with Washington's Gheorghe Muresan). Orlando's Dennis Scott led in three-point field goals (267).

• Tom Hanks, or at least his voice, was in the year's top-grossing movie, Toy Story, which brought in $191,796,233. Batman Forever was next, followed by Apollo 13, in which Hanks really did appear.

• It was a good year for Mel Gibson, as Braveheart won the Oscar for Best Picture and Gibson won for Best Director. Best Actor went to Nicholas Cage for Leaving Las Vegas, Best Actress went to Susan Sarandon for Dead Man Walking, Best Supporting Actor went to Kevin Spacey for The Usual Suspects and Mira Sorvino won Best Supporting Actress for Mighty Aphrodite.

• In other movie news, Babe won the Golden Globe for Best Musical or Comedy.

• Jerry Garcia of The Grateful Dead, cheats death by surviving a crash in his rented BMW, but passes away in August of a diabetes-related illness.

• The Dead disbands. Other bands disbanding include Kid N Play, who go on to become the punch line for LeBron James in a State Farm commercial, Oingo Boingo, Pink Floyd, which will become a derisive reference to Bulls Head Coach Tim Floyd by Michael Jordan and Dire Straits,

• Lyle Lovett breaks his collarbone in a motorcycle accident. One month later he announces his engagement to actress Julia Roberts.

• Motley Crue drummer Tommy Lee marries Baywatch actress Pamela Anderson, who dons an elegant white bikini.

• Los Del Rio has its biggest hit with "Macarena".

• The Atlanta Braves beat the Cleveland Indians, 4 games to 2, to win the World Series and bring home Atlanta's first major championship.

• The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame opens in Cleveland, Ohio.

• The Baltimore Stallions top the Calgary Stampeders, 37-20, to win the Grey Cup, emblematic of supremacy in the Canadian Football League.

• Andre Agassi wins the Australian Open. Pete Sampras wins Wimbledon and the U.S. Open. Thomas Muster takes the French.

• AP's Male Athlete of the Year was Cal Ripken, Jr., who surpassed Lou Gehrig's record for consecutive games played (2,131). UConn's Rebecca Lobo wins Female Athlete of the Year, for leading the 35-0 Huskies to the school's first title.

• The Golf Channel is launched. The History Channel, the Sci-Fi Channel and Playboy TV also launch.

• ABC pre-empts All My Children to report on the Oklahoma City bombing. For those who are wondering what was missed, villainess Janet Green (Robin Mattson) was supposed to blow up the church in which her ex Trevor Dillon (James Kiberd) was to marry her rival Laurel Banning (Felicity LaFortune).

• The Walt Disney Company announces it will purchase ABC and ESPN.

• Will Farrell, Cheri Oteri, Darrell Hammond and Ana Gasteyer join Saturday Night Live.

• Blossom, Full House, Love Connection, Northern Exposure, Family Feud and Yo! MTV Raps are among the shows cancelled, while Matlock moves from ABC to CBS.

• The 104th Congress convenes. It is the first in which the Republicans control both houses of the Senate since 1953 to '55.

• Yahoo! is founded on March 1.

• The final original Calvin and Hobbes comic strip is published.

Jon Cooper is a freelance writer based in Atlanta.