The history of Dennis Smith is written, at the moment, with blood, sweat and tears in the NBA. He has only been in it five years, and the withdraw
The history of Dennis Smith is written, at the moment, with blood, sweat and tears in the NBA. He has only been in it five years, and the withdrawal has been really close. Especially this last summer. The lack of opportunities and, furthermore, not having taken advantage of the previous ones had left him in a difficult position for market purposes and only a flag start at the Charlotte Hornets, the team that trusted him when everything seemed lost, has restored calm to his agitated thoughts.
Smith began his career in Dallas almost at the same time as Luka Doncic, a year earlier, and the Slovenian’s takeoff was the fall from grace of the teammate who should have accompanied him on the outside line, who did not meet the same standards. Brunson, who is from the same year as Luka, won the place as a quality replacement and his light went out in the team that had chosen him as the ninth best project of his generation. The NBA has even been a problem for him lately.
The player has confessed that this 2022 has been the one of the difficult decision. He saw everything lost. In words collected by Michael Scotto for HoopsHype, the 24-year-old guard has been honest as follows: “I told my old agent: ‘I’m not going to play in another country.’ If this shit didn’t pan out, I was going to go to the NFL. He was fucking serious. I gained a lot of weight because I was going to try.” Dennis’s idea was to earn a defensive back job on some National Football League team, but neither did before the Hornets knocked on his door. And less bad. He has recovered the point. “People have been writing me off constantly. I know I am young. I have time and confidence in myself, ”he highlights. His still short career in the NBA has taken him to the bottom and now he sees it as a professional transit after overcoming it. “It’s been a roller coaster, up and down. Of course, I would not change it for anyone else. I think he has changed me in many ways, made me who I am and helped me grow. I am grateful for it”, he concludes.
Smith has gone through more teams besides the Mavericks where he started. He was only with the Texans for two years, after which he was dropped by Carlisle. He was traded to the Knicks in the Porzingis deal and there he too spent two seasons with no luck. At the Pistons he was in the final stretch of 2020/21 and did not continue. His last team until the new chance had been the Portland Trail Blazers.
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It seems like a divine gesture that the place where he has regained his smile is in Charlotte. Smith was born in Godwin, a town in North Carolina, and played one year in the NCAA with the state university. Now, in the NBA team they have there, he flies like before. Part of the blame lies with Nick Friedman, who is now an assistant coach there; He was the one who trained him individually for the 2017 Draft tests, they have maintained contact these years, they coincided in a party in Miami, Friedman bet on him so that they would see him on the team and convinced him in such a way that he won an employment contract for a year. He is taking advantage of it wonderfully. He has also been helped by the physical problems of Terry Rozier and LaMelo Ball and the extra-sports problems of James Bouknight and Miles Bridges to get minutes from where there were none. It is at 29.5 per game, Clifford’s maximum confidence in what he does, and his contribution rises to 10.2 points, 3.6 rebounds, 6.2 assists and 1.9 steals with an acceptable 35.7% in triples. A crash course in how to hold on to the NBA.