HoopsHype Josh Smith rumors

December 29, 2013 Updates

Whatever happened in that locker room Saturday night, the Detroit Pistons left here with their first tangible turmoil of the season. Josh Smith didn't play the second half of a 106-82 blowout against the Washington Wizards, the second time head coach Maurice Cheeks has made that decision this season. This time, Smith suggested Cheeks called him out for not playing hard, and that he took "real offense" to the accusation. Smith also was benched the second half of a Nov. 12 game at Golden State. Booth Newspapers

"Like I told y'all before when we had this conversation, when you hit adverse times, characters are gonna be tested," Smith said. "It's either that we're gonna come closer together and make it all one team, or are you gonna use a scapegoat to get away from what's really at hand?" Booth Newspapers

Smith said he isn't inclined to have a personal discussion with Cheeks about their disagreement before the next game. "To me, it's over with," Smith said. "But you know, some people hold grudges longer than others. I don't know. I don't know. I'm not saying that he (Cheeks) does. I don't know. "But I'm not the type of person that really likes to go all the time in the coach's office and have one-on-one sitdowns. I'm more of a team morale guy, worrying about what we can do, as far as teammates are concerned, to make ourselves more successful." Booth Newspapers

December 18, 2013 Updates

Smith made 13 of 17 shots against Portland and then sank 13 of 29 against the Pacers. "We talked about it," Cheeks said, "putting the ball in his hands a little bit more and trying to get him off the perimeter ... to try and get him on the block a little bit more. Just give him a little more opportunity scoring wise "I went to him. We just talked about what we can do to get him better, get him better shots, get him more comfortable on the block. It was a two-way conversation, what I could do to make him better because him better makes us better. "I just looked at his numbers in Atlanta and figured out what I could do to get him better shots." Booth Newspapers

December 10, 2013 Updates
November 23, 2013 Updates

Smith missed practice Thursday after skipping the team flight home from Atlanta, his hometown, on the assumption that the Pistons would have a day off after playing Tuesday and Wednesday. Smith already planned to stay in Atlanta, then was convinced to do so after learning his father, Pete Smith, was suffering from the flu. Josh Smith said he was surprised not to see his father in the customary courtside seat where Pete Smith always watched Hawks games involving his son when the Pistons lost Wednesday in Atlanta. "I consider him my best friend, and so it does bother me," Josh Smith said. "When that came about and I didn't see him in the stands, it really was a shock to me. I wanted to be able to make sure I took care of that. That was my main priority, moreso than anything else." Booth Newspapers

Smith said he learned about 12:30 a.m. Thursday that Cheeks had scheduled an 11 a.m. practice. But by then, Smith had skipped the team charter flight. "Generally, 99.9 percent of the time, on back-to-backs, you have a day off," Smith said. "And considering that I was at home and my father was dealing with a real serious illness, I thought it was self-explanatory. But I should have made better communication on my part, as far as letting these guys know that I was going to stay over. "I apologized to Joe Dumars and Mo Cheeks the following day. It's a situation that's very minor and I really want to move past it, because it's a situation where I thought it was a day off." Booth Newspapers

Twelve games into his Detroit Pistons tenure, Josh Smith was left out of the starting lineup after 604 consecutive games started Friday, ostensibly for missing practice the day before, according to head coach Maurice Cheeks. Smith was held scoreless for the first time since his rookie season, and the 96-89 loss to the Atlanta Hawks, and nature of the disciplinary action, called the fabric of this team into question. Booth Newspapers

Smith was long gone before the locker room was opened to the media, leaving head coach Maurice Cheeks to explain why the Pistons' biggest free-agent signee in years was omitted from the starting lineup. Cheeks said Smith missed practice Thursday. The player, meantime, already had planned to spend what he expected to be an off day in Atlanta that day. The miscommunication produced an abject lesson in athletes trying to predict when their coaches plan to schedule practice. Booth Newspapers

But given the timeline Cheeks presented, the head coach who was brought here in part for his history as a player's coach could have covered for his team's biggest offseason addition. Cheeks decided to bench Smith under unusual circumstances instead. Cheeks also was non-committal about what happens next. "Is Josh Smith starting going forward?" Cheeks said. "Probably, but nothing's written in stone. So we'll see." Booth Newspapers

November 22, 2013 Updates
November 20, 2013 Updates

Atlanta is his hometown and where he played his first nine seasons in the NBA. “I’m having mixed emotions,” Smith said. “I know that my friends and family are going to be happy to see me there. I don’t necessarily know what is going to happen with the rest of the fans. I’m just coming to win a basketball game. “That is pretty much it. I’m coming in there being focused to win a game, get off on the right foot, and I’m not necessarily concerned with how the crowd is going to receive me.” Detroit Free Press

November 18, 2013 Updates

Hawks general manager Danny Ferry has previously said the team did not make Josh Smith a contract offer once he became an unrestricted free agent this summer. Smith gave some more detail into the Hawks’ lack of interest this summer in a radio interview with 92.9 FM Monday. “No, there wasn’t,” Smith said when asked if there was a contract offer. “During free agency, during that period, there were a lot of guys out in L.A. that were meeting with various teams. I was one of those guys. That’s where I work out in the summertime as well. The only time I saw the Hawks during free agency was when they came to one of my workouts just to say hello. I think they were meeting with Dwight Howard that day. They never came in or sat down with me during the free agency period to offer me anything.” Atlanta Journal-Constitution

"As it relates to his returning to the Hawks I spoke to Josh during the season, both before the trade deadline and after, about where his head was regarding his future here as well as our intentions," Ferry told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. "I also had steady and open communication with his agents Brian Dyke and Wallace Prather during the season as well as during the summer. Although we both decided it was best to move in different directions, I wish him well. Josh was obviously a very important part of several good seasons for the Hawks and he did wonderful things in the Atlanta community." Atlanta Journal-Constitution

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