Zhaire Smith Rumors

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#8
Zhaire Smith
Zhaire Smith
Position: G-F
Born: 06/04/99
Height: 6-3 / 1.91
Weight:205 lbs. / 93 kg.
Salary: $3,058,800
Two first-rounders who played here in Vegas that I’d be pretty worried about: Luka Samanic and Zhaire Smith. Smith was a 2018 first-round pick of the Sixers who missed nearly all of last season due to a severe food allergy reaction. He’s only 20, but has struggled to make an impact even in G League games due to his limited skill level. A phenomenal leaper who does his best work in transition, the 6-4 Smith’s skill level hasn’t nearly caught up with his leaping ability – right now he’s basically a 4 in a 2’s body. The surprising part is that he hasn’t been able to bring his athleticism to bear, even in places you’d expect to see it – he rarely draws fouls, for instance, and his rates of blocks, steals and rebounds in the G League have been unremarkable.
And then in August 2018, Zhaire’s fortune changed. First, he broke his foot. A month later, still recuperating, Zhaire ate some chicken at the Sixers’ team practice facility that made his lips tingle. That’s usually a sign of a minor allergic reaction, as opposed to anaphylaxis, a life-threatening reaction that requires immediate medical attention. Since anaphylaxis typically occurs within a matter of minutes and has obvious symptoms—a severe rash, or causing a person’s airways to narrow, leading to difficulty breathing—Zhaire figured he was in the clear. He drove home, thoroughly brushed his teeth, took some Benadryl, and hopped in the shower. That’s when everything went to hell.
1 year ago via GQ.com
Bedridden, in constant pain, and unable to eat or drink, Zhaire could only sleep for 30 minutes at a time, and only with the help of morphine. He spent his nights watching 76ers game films and doing some informal scouting for coach Brett Brown, who would check in with him on FaceTime. Then-teammate Markelle Fultz often texted, but Zhaire rarely had the energy to respond. He was too weak to do physical activities, save for thumb wars with Aundre, who slept by his side at the hospital each night. Zhaire’s days were spent meditating with his mom, Andrea. The only other way to help Zhaire relax was the repetitive motion of twisting his hair. “They were calming me down, but I was throwing temper tantrums,” Zhaire says. “Everyday, I was like, ‘Am I getting out? Can I drink? Can I eat? I was so thirsty.”’
1 year ago via GQ.com
Zhaire doesn’t know precisely what caused his allergic reaction. Perhaps it was cross-contact with peanuts, perhaps cross-contact with something else. He knows the Sixers were careful with his meals before the reaction, and have taken even more precautions since. (A recent food allergy test revealed new, lesser allergies: shellfish, green beans, cabbage, peas, and sesame.) He drinks seven protein shakes a day (he downed three shakes during his hour-long conversation with GQ), and he treasures his mom’s cooking, especially her go-to dish of pasta and chicken strips. “Since the reaction, if I didn’t eat something previously, I’m not going to try it now,” Zhaire says. He maintains that he’s not nervous, though there are signs he’s working out the psychological kinks that come after a major allergic reaction. He is, for instance, cutting out any foods that could even possibly cause him trouble.
1 year ago via GQ.com
Harris, a private equity maven who, along with a group of nearly a dozen partners, purchased the Sixers in 2011 for $280 million, is a regular presence in Philly. But in the wake of Bryan Colangelo’s dismissal, he and the rest of his group have grown even more hands-on. This was made clear during the draft, when, according to league sources, it was minority owner David B. Heller who pulled the trigger on the trade sending No. 10 Mikal Bridges to the Phoenix Suns in exchange for Zhaire Smith and a future first-round pick.