Joe Smith on his 16-year NBA career, favorite stints and teammates, contract scandal, transition to coaching and more

Joe Smith on his 16-year NBA career, favorite stints and teammates, contract scandal, transition to coaching and more


Joe Smith on his 16-year NBA career, favorite stints and teammates, contract scandal, transition to coaching and more

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On this episode of The HoopsHype Podcast, Alex Kennedy is joined by 16-year NBA veteran Joe Smith. They discussed his favorite NBA stops and teammates, his thoughts on today’s NBA, the 1999 contract scandal with the Minnesota Timberwolves, his transition to coaching and more. Time-stamps are below.

1:37: Joe was the first overall pick in the 1995 NBA draft. He had no idea he’d be the No. 1 pick and he walks us through what that day was like.

4:00: In Joe’s 16 NBA seasons, he played for 12 different teams: the Warriors, 76ers, Timberwolves, Pistons, Bucks, Nuggets, Bulls, Cavaliers, Thunder, Hawks, Nets and Lakers. He shares which organizations and cities were his favorite.

6:15: It’s not often that a player can last 16 seasons in the NBA. Joe shares why he was able to stay in the league for so long and offers advice to younger players who want to have similar longevity.

7:40: Joe discusses how the difficulties of bouncing from team to team and constantly having to adapt to new cities, teammates, coaches and more.

8:55: A listener, @DParikh30, asked Joe: Was it tough going from being a No. 1 overall pick to a journeyman, and why do you think that happened?

11:15: Another listener, @willoughbyct, asked Joe: Who were your favorite teammates of all-time?

12:10: Joe played with so many superstars – from LeBron James to Kobe Bryant to Kevin Garnett to Allen Iverson to Kevin Durant to Russell Westbrook. What are some characteristics that all those guys have in common that allow them to perform at such a high level?

14:30: In 1999, Joe and the Timberwolves were involved in a contract scandal after it was discovered that Minnesota’s front office had an under-the-table agreement with Joe’s camp that they would sign him to a lucrative deal if he first signed several one-year contracts below market value. This would allow them to make other moves and acquire his Bird rights. When the NBA found out about this, they voided the last year of Joe’s contract with the Wolves and the organization was stripped of five first-round picks and fined $3.5 million. Joe discusses what it was like to go through this situation.

18:10: Joe discusses the impact that the scandal had on the rest of his career and how he was perceived.

20:05: Did the business side of the NBA make Joe partially lose his love for the game?

23:55: Joe watched the evolution of the NBA game over the course of his 16 years in the league. How much has the game changed from the time he made his NBA debut to now? And what does Joe think of today’s style of play?

26:20: Joe shares his favorite current NBA players to watch.

28:15: With how much the game has changed over the years, what kind of role would Joe play if he was drafted now?

30:00: Joe shares the toughest players he ever matched up against, offensively and defensively.

32:20: If given the chance, what advice would Joe give to his younger self?

33:30: Joe briefly helped the Phoenix Suns behind the scenes, coaching Alex Len and some of their other big men. Now, Joe trains players individually using the service CoachUp. He discusses what made him get into coaching – specifically player-development training – and whether he wants to coach at the college or professional level eventually.

This episode is sponsored by Seat Geek. Download the Seat Geek app, pick out an event and enter the promo code HOOPSHYPE for $20 off your first ticket purchase!

If you’re interested in advertising on The HoopsHype Podcast, email for more information.


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