Give-and-Go: Jason Smith

Tuesday, January 10, 2012
By: Jim Eichenhofer, Hornets.com

This is the second 2011-12 edition of “Give-and-Go,” a periodic Hornets.com feature with Hornets players. In this installment, New Orleans forward Jason Smith directly answers Twitter questions sent to www.twitter.com/Jim_Eichenhofer. We caught up with the fourth-year NBA veteran prior to a recent home game at the New Orleans Arena.

From @ashley_hollier: Why aren’t you on Twitter?
Smith: [smiles] I don’t know. I guess I haven’t really gotten into the whole Twitter thing. I used to have Facebook, but I decided to get off of that. I like to keep to myself I guess. [laughs] The reason I left Facebook was because it was back in the good old days when you couldn’t make your profile private. There was too much drama, too many people trying to contact you for tickets and whatnot. I just decided to step away from the whole situation and focus on basketball. Back then, anyone could jump on your page, and they could send you what are called pokes or winks or whatever it was. I was getting poked and winked like crazy.
Chris Kaman: [overhearing the conversation from nearby] You know, the first time I got poked, I canceled my Facebook account.

From @ryancaz: What did you work on the most during the offseason?
Smith: Definitely perimeter shooting and extending my range. I really tried to stay in shape and be prepared for anything coming out of the lockout. We had no idea when the season was going to start, so it was important to just stay prepared and stay in shape for any possibility.

What was your regimen during the offseason for improving your range and being able to add a three-point shot into games already in 2011-12?
Smith:vI shot a ton of threes. It was a mixture of a lot of things. I’d warm up by starting out shooting inside, then work on post moves around the basket, then move out to mid-range jumpers. I continued to work on pick-and-roll stuff, then out to three-point range. I worked on standstill three-pointers, as well as pick-and-pop threes. It was an overall workout of all different types of shooting.

Sometimes basketball coaches don’t want their big guys shooting three-pointers, preferring that they stay in the paint, but 20-foot jumpers were a huge part of your game last season. What have Monty Williams and the coaches told you about shooting three-pointers?
Smith: Monty has been great for me. He has confidence in me as a shooter. He knows that the mid-range jumper is one of my strengths. That was one of the things they really wanted me to work on in the offseason – extending my range out to the three-point line. It’s really been about proving to him in practice and shootarounds that I can shoot the three and make 15 out of 20, or 16 out of 20. As long as I’m at a consistently high rate of making them, then I’m able to get that green light to shoot.

From @stormsurgephoto: What is your favorite nickname? We’ve been stumped coming up with one.
Smith: You know, I’ve had a lot of nicknames in the past, ranging from J Smooth, to J Bone, to Ace, to Johnny Bravo. There are a lot of different nicknames; I can’t really specify one. J Bone came from the fact that I like to set screens, and some of the guards didn’t like me setting (physical) screens. They would say, “come on, I felt that in my bones, J Bone!” It was something that stuck for a little while, but that was about it. I’ve had a ton of different nicknames.

From @oceanback: Did you gain any muscle mass in the offseason? And at what age did you max out in height or have you maxed out yet? LOL.
Smith: I maxed out in height when I was probably 18 years old. Coming right out of high school, I was 7 foot, but I was a toothpick, weighing maybe 185 or 190 pounds. I just kind of filled out from there in college. Did I gain muscle mass this offseason? Not really. I just tried to maintain what I had – that was really my main goal. I wanted to just stay in shape and be prepared for anything.

From @susanmariner: Please let Jason know that his Philadelphia fans send our condolences and sympathy on the tragic death of his dad. (Editor’s note: Smith was interviewed hours before he temporarily left the team on the Jan. 7-8 weekend due to a death in his family that took place Jan. 6. Smith’s father died as a result of a Colorado car accident in August).
Smith: (To lose someone close to you) is definitely a humbling, eye-opening experience. It’s a tragic experience. But I completely thank everyone who has reached out to me. I really want to thank the fans for having me in their hearts.