Hornets.com sat down with New Orleans frontcourt reserve Jason Smith to find out his thoughts about the NBA and his three-year career in the league:
Most memorable moment in the NBA: “A 30-point comeback win my rookie year against Portland. Our coach took the starters out and put the second group in, and we were just like well let’s play hard and not make any mistakes. We chipped away at it and came back. It was amazing. The crowd was loving it and we were going nuts.”
Most memorable dunk in the NBA: “I was on a fast break in New York. Andre Miller drove and gave it in the middle of the lane. I took off from way out from the basket. I was just hoping to get to the rim and hang on for dear life. I was just happy to get the dunk and not hurt myself. I think it was the No. 3 play on SportsCenter.”
Most embarrassing moment in the NBA: “My rookie year, I thought there were five-tenths of a second left in the quarter so I heaved up a shot from about 60 feet away. But after I let it go, I realized that there were actually five (full) seconds left. I lost track of time. That was embarrassing.”
Most surprising thing about the NBA as a rookie: “For me, being around all of the big-name players. The first time seeing guys like Shaq or Steve Nash or Tracy McGrady. I’m from a small-town. I was kind of like, Wow. I already knew it was fast-paced and physical. But just actually being out there with them was an experience. After a few games though, you get adjusted to it and say, I’m ready."
Toughest player to face at his position: “Probably Dwight Howard. He’s a monster. He’s athletic, he’s super strong. He’s a one-of-a-kind player.”
Most underrated player in the NBA: Former Philadelphia teammate, point guard Jrue Holiday. “He’s so explosive athletically. He takes his time and is great with either hand. He has lots and lots of potential. If he continues to work hard, he’s going to be an amazing player in the future of the NBA.”
Favorite road arena: “L.A., because of the Lakers’ intro that they do when they announce their starting lineup. They have this big, long white sheet that comes down from the ceiling and a big video that plays on it.”
Favorite road trip, based on the city: “I’m partial to Denver, just because that’s where my family is.”
Best trash-talker in the NBA: Kevin Garnett.
Change he’d make if he were NBA commissioner: “No lockout next year.” [smiles]