Atlanta Hawks: Smith on verge of statitistical milestone

Vivlamore reporting.

* The Hawks are off today prior to opening the regular season Friday against the Rockets. Here is my story on Josh Smith that will appear in Friday’s print edition of the AJC. A special note of thanks to the Hawks’ crack PR staff for providing the names below of all 23 players in NBA history to have amassed 10,000 points, 5,000 rebounds, 2,000 assists and 1,000 blocks. The check is in the mail.

Josh Smith admits the chip is still squarely on his shoulder – even as he piles up statistics few in NBA history have amassed.

If he remains healthy for his ninth season Smith will become the 24th player in league history to reach 10,000 points, 5,000 rebounds, 2,000 assists and 1,000 blocks. There are only eight players to do it with one team.

Hawks forward Josh Smith reacts after a Game 1 victory over the Celtics in the playoff last season.

Hawks forward Josh Smith reacts after a Game 1 victory over the Celtics in the playoff last season.

Smith has career totals of 9,044 points (needs 956), 4,768 rebounds (needs 232), 1,849 assists (needs 151) and 1,304 blocks. If he puts up his career averages this season, he will reach the points milestone in 53 games, the rebounds in 29 games and the assists in 50 games.

“I’ve definitely accomplished a lot of things that a lot of people didn’t think I would accomplish but I’ve always believed in myself,” said Smith, who insists he doesn’t pay attention to statistics. “I’m definitely confident. I’m a confident person and I have a hard work ethic.”

The Hawks used the 17th overall selection of the 2004 draft to pick Smith straight out of high school. The words of Jay Bilas on draft night still ring in Smith’s ears, even though he refuses to mention the ESPN analyst by name. At the time of the selection, 10 picks after the Hawks selected Josh Childress, Bilas said this of Smith: “If you had to pick which guy was most likely to be a bust in the first round, it would be this guy. He has no right hand and he can’t shoot.”

While some considered the pick a long-shot, Smith believes quite the opposite.

“I felt like I should have been drafted earlier but things happen,” Smith said. “I’m still here. There are a lot of people that went in front of me that aren’t in this league. When I got called, people said I was going to be the biggest bust in my draft. One particular person. It’s all good. I prevailed. I persevered through all the negativity. I will continue to keep working hard to continue to prove those people wrong.”

By comparison, Childress is playing with his third NBA team, with a stop in Greece, and has 3,534 career points. Of the 28 other first-round picks in his draft, 11 are not in the league. That includes four players taken ahead of Smith.

Smith likely won’t be the only player to reach the multiple milestones this season. Rasheed Wallace needs just 12 assists and Shawn Marion needs 140 assists.

Smith, who will become an unrestricted free agent following the season, will join Hakeem Olajuwon, David Robinson, Patrick Ewing, Karl Malone, Julius Erving, Tim Duncan, Dirk Nowitzki and Kevin Garnett to accomplish the feat with the same team.

“It really doesn’t matter what people think about me or say about me,” Smith said. “I just go out there and play and not worry about any outside distractions. It feels good to prove people wrong. I’m not going to lie to you on that. It feels good. I will always play with a chip on my shoulder. I’ve been fortunate to play with one ball club for this long. That’s a rarity in this league. I’m definitely blessed and fortunate to be a part of the Atlanta Hawks.”

Smith, who is from College Park and played at McEachern High before finishing at Virginia’s Oak Hill Academy, relishes being a part of the group that turned the fortunes of the organization. The team opens the regular season Friday in search of its sixth straight trip to the postseason. Being from the area, Smith said he remembers the lean times in the post-Dominique Wilkins era.

Larry Drew has been with the Hawks for Smith’s entire tenure, first as an assistant and now entering his third season has head coach. He has seen Smith mature – on and off the court – into a player he entrusts with a captaincy.

“He is certainly a player, one of the few players, who can impact the game on both ends of the floor,” Drew said. “But as a young man I’m proud of how he has matured. I notice something different about him every year we come back. You can see that he is going to take every challenge I throw at him. That is who he is.”

The Hawks and Smith will not talk contract during the season. They will wait until the summer when Smith can test free agency and the Hawks can offer extra years on a contract offer.

While his future in Atlanta has at least one more chapter to be written, Smith plans to keep his focus away from outside distractions. The stats they just keep coming.

MILESTONE MAKERS

Here is the list of the 23 players in NBA history to reach 10,000 points, 5,000 rebounds, 2,000 assists and 1,000 blocks.

Hakeem Olajuwon*

David Robinson*

Patrick Ewing*

Karl Malone*

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar

Robert Parish

Elvin Hayes

Julius Erving*

Bob Lanier

Tim Duncan*

Shaquille O’Neal

Dirk Nowitzki*

Kevin Garnett*

Mychal Thompson

Larry Nance

Vlade Divac

Elton Brand

Pau Gasol

Chris Webber

Horace Grant

Clifford Robinson

Sam Lacey

Jack Sikma

* – Done with same team

- Story by Chris Vivlamore

LATEST NEWS

* Smith, Horford are interim captains

* Reasons for optimism

* Five things we learned from the preseason

* Teague, Pachulia return to full-contact practice, ready for opener

* Failure not an option for Tolliver

* Hawks ownership ‘extremely’ fortunate to keep stake in team

* Anderson, James waived in final cuts

* Video: Hawks still implementing new offense

Follow me on Twitter at ajchawks

181 comments Add your comment

terrell

November 1st, 2012
8:12 am

This is Josh’ team. Like it or not.

terrell

November 1st, 2012
8:14 am

Elton Brand?? Wow. His name just doesnt look right on that list. lol

doc

November 1st, 2012
8:31 am

pretty solid list there. pretty solid player. nice to have watched him excel over the years. special talent, yet to be appreciated fully and totally.

Sam

November 1st, 2012
8:36 am

I keep thinking we should trade him, but I can never come up with what I think would be suitable compensation. If we get a first rounder or two, they’ll more than likely fall in the middle of the lottery again and we’ll have basically given him away. Unless you have a top 10 pick in the draft, more often than not, you’re better off trading it for a reliable veteran on a good soon-to-be-expiring contract (or a very good vet on a long-termer). The talent drafted in the 15 or later spots hardly ever seem to pan out.

ag

November 1st, 2012
8:42 am

I hope Josh does not put to much pressure on himself and let the game come to him. LD should design and inside out approach – and hopefully Josh will post up more.

ag

November 1st, 2012
8:46 am

Funny, if you look at the 2005 analyist, the reason we drafted Marvin was to take Josh place.

Marvin did have a good game and I wish him luck. When we traded Joe, I thought we should have kept him. I am not going to be disappointed though.

2 FOR JOHN DREW

November 1st, 2012
8:54 am

Wow …. what a list of players & Dr. J is the shortest guy on that list I believe. Alrght Josh Smith aka J Smoove, aka Midrange Shawty ….. IT’S YOUR TIME ….. come on man

2 FOR JOHN DREW

November 1st, 2012
8:55 am

Good Job C-Viv

Najeh Davenpoop

November 1st, 2012
9:05 am

The dumbest thing about Bilas’ comment was that Josh wasn’t even a lottery pick. In a draft where Shaun Livingston, Josh Childress, Rafael Araujo, and Luke Jackson went in the top 10, that statement is even dumber in hindsight than it was at the time it was made. Jay Bilas is good at tweeting Jeezy lyrics, not quite so much at analyzing NBA talent.

HoosierHawk

November 1st, 2012
9:08 am

Wow – Marvin Williams had 21 in Jazz debut

doc

November 1st, 2012
9:16 am

you know, watching vava’s discussion on genetics the past few days is like watching republicans talk about abortion in an election year. i just gasp in wonder.

Ken Strickland

November 1st, 2012
9:16 am

DOC-Co-sign. I’m convinced that LDrew intends to pull a Woody. Just like Drew, Woodson was in the final yr of his contract when he was told by mgt what was expected of him if he wanted to be retained as HC. Instead of focusing on preparing his team for a solid playoff run, which was mgts mandate, he went all out to win as many regular season gms as possible.

As a result of his approach, and like always, his team was worn out by playoff time and got blown out in the 1st rd. Drew seems determined to go all out with his Motion OFF. I believe Drew feels Ferry already knows who he wants as his HC and therefore won’t resign him no matter what.

As a result, I believe Drew’s focus on OFF over DEF, rebounding and size, along with his obsession with getting his OFF totally installed, is because he intends to use this season to display his Motion OFF to try and get a GM interested enough to give him another HC job.

Melvin

November 1st, 2012
9:17 am

This a nice list of players to be included with. Hopefully he can accomplish that and more in a Hawks uniform…

Remarkable

November 1st, 2012
9:22 am

HoosierHawk
Wow – Marvin Williams had 21 in Jazz debut

Marvin always could put up numbers, he just didn’t. No one here could ever motivate him beyond a game or two. Watch him over the whole season to see if anything changes. The next game he may put up 6?

Ken Strickland

November 1st, 2012
9:35 am

DOC-Now that was cold. I was feeling a little guilty about delving off into the political area on the last blog, but your 9:16am post makes me feel a lot less guilty. As a trained and vastly knowledgeable and experienced physician, I can only wonder how you felt hearing those ANAL MINDED MORONIC CONSERVATIVE REPUBLICANS say some of the absolutely moronic BS about what a womans body can do in the event of rape, or whether a rape is legitimate or not.

And to make matters worse, VP candidate Ryan actually co-wrote and sponsored a bill to those effects. And people, especially women, are still willing to vote for these ANALS. Over the last 60yrs we’ve added the Woman sufferage act, child labor laws, the civil rights act, voting rights act, voter suppression laws, equal play of women act, medicare, medicaid, Social Security, and fair labor laws.

In this one election, the Republican Party has systematically attacked and/or tried to repeal, or has promised to repeal, each and every one of these gains. These CONSERVATIVE REPUBLICAN MINDED MORONS want to take this country back to politics of the 1940s and 50s.

Mike is Back

November 1st, 2012
9:41 am

Doc, ditto on your 8:31 post.

GO HAWKS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

JM

November 1st, 2012
9:46 am

@ KS 9:35

Sad but true. People, wake-up!

Hankie Aron

November 1st, 2012
10:02 am

Ken Strickland- You should be proud you’re mother did not abort you otherwise you wouldn’t have been here to make such idiotic statements about Republicans.

Hankie Aron

November 1st, 2012
10:04 am

If you want to have an intelligent conversation about abortion I’m game but if you just want to call me a “moron” or another derogatory name for being a conservative then I’ll respectfully decline.

Hankie Aron

November 1st, 2012
10:05 am

Keep in mind when you call people names, it says much more about you than it does about them.

O'Brien

November 1st, 2012
10:19 am

FTPB,

AJ,

is anyone going to make a ticket purchasing decision based on if Tolliver or Korver is starting at SF?.

Actually, I would have bought a ticket if James was the starting SF :smile:

Pookie Jenkins

November 1st, 2012
10:19 am

Fired up for this season. I think we’ll do better than alot of ‘fans’ expect. Good posts Chris V. Keep em comin!
……just wish tomorrow would hurry up and get here….

KevinM

November 1st, 2012
10:25 am

KenS – absolutely hating on the Republicans and many on this site.
I see where the stress comes in…..

Back 2 the Hawks….if Smoove doesn’t get a max deal, he’s gone. Danny is going to have to ante up or the Hawks lose the only guy who is on the national radar. NBA TV picked a fantasy team and Josh went very early in that draft as a stat stuffer. How much value does he really have? We’ll find out very soon IMO. He should be able to get the numbers that KLove gets.

Anybody catch the debut of James Harden? Ready to lead the young Rockets? It appears so.

O'Brien

November 1st, 2012
10:25 am

I think the Harden-JJ comparison is a good one. Harden is a better scorer, while JJ is the better defender. I would have loved to see the Hawks go after him if he made it to free agency, but at the time, I was thinking we could get him for 4 years, $60 mil. I didn’t know it would be 5 years, $80 mil.

It will be interesting to see if he helps to elevate the Rockets to the playoffs within the next 3 years.

single white dove

November 1st, 2012
10:27 am

Didnt know Elton John had those numbers….

O'Brien

November 1st, 2012
10:29 am

For all you cap experts, what is the max contract the Hawks could sign Josh for?

KevinM,

I don’t think Josh will have a problem taking less money to stay with the Hawks depending on 1) How much less we talking ’bout and 2)Ferry would have to show/tell him how he plans on building the Hawks into a title contender, and what he plans on doing with the money Josh leaves on the table.

Ryder

November 1st, 2012
10:31 am

Josh Smith has matured into the go-to guy on this team, and Atlanta would be foolish to let him go. I think if they paired him up with a championship level coach (Jerry Sloan) and get a bonafide shooter to go with him and Horford the Hawks can finally go places. Think about all of the other eight players to accomplish those statistical feats, they are either an MVP or won a championship.

i_am_soulstar

November 1st, 2012
10:33 am

Met John Jenkins last night. Are we sure he’s not 6′5? His height is def not exaggerated.

MsDee

November 1st, 2012
10:35 am

i_am_soulstar,

Where did u see J.Jenkins at?

KevinM

November 1st, 2012
10:40 am

Tell DannyF to go get Bledsoe since JC1 is getting big minutes out there.

And I am so glad to see Marvin out of here…I don’t care if he’s an all-star…..Marvin 21/3…..glad to see his salary numbers off these books.

Astro Joe

November 1st, 2012
10:46 am

Harden looked more than legit last night. I was really impressed by his willingness to pass the ball. Delfino got hot from the 3 line and Harden continued to “feed him and fan him” in the 4th quarter. The Rockets won that game not just because of Harden’s scoring (I think he scored 30 of his 37 in the first 3 quarters) but because Harden was a consummate team player when they needed to make their big run in the 4th. And they did run some iso plays for Harden toward the end and he has enough quickness to be very effective in that role. Now, with that said, the Pistons did not have anyone who had any ability to defend that guy. Rodney Stuckey? Kim English? I was waiting to see if they would let old man Tayshaun take a crack, but I guess Lawrence Frank knew better. Look for DeShawn to be used early tomorrow night (he may even start to ensure Harden never finds his zone).

KevinM

November 1st, 2012
10:46 am

OB, Josh is going to ask for Top 20 money to get him up there with Rudy Gay. We’re 22nd in payroll right now, and only 13M locked in for next year.
Will Josh be an all-star this year? I bet Danny hopes not.

And Harden is proven unlike the OKC assets they go in return. Here’s hoping Harden gets Houston out of the draft lottery so we can get their pick.

O'Brien

November 1st, 2012
10:47 am

Najeh,

Did you see Jay Bilas’ tweet from early October when he posted one of Jeezy’s lyric but did not edit it first?

doc

November 1st, 2012
10:52 am

ken, i was drawing an analogy. so let us not go further.

this thread of thought started because of nba news.

if you want something good to read? here is one article that sums it up pretty good:

http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2012/10/31/us/sandy-zoomers.html?ref=nyregion

author is also a jew and probably one of the best contemporary writers in his field. gee, i like him. he is a jew. now i can say whatever i want about that race, religion or culture or however you define or defile it.

KevinM

November 1st, 2012
10:53 am

AJ, I would put Stevenson on Harden as well, if only to see what he has left for this team.
On Harden, the points were very good, he will be near the top of the league this year in scoring….I just think we will see him as a leader as well for that young team. He and Lin may be a very good combo, but there are alot of good combos in the backcourt this year.

KevinM

November 1st, 2012
11:00 am

OB, Harden just signed for 5/80M. Houston got their elite player….kudos to them moving a mid round draft pick and pieces to get him.

i_am_soulstar

November 1st, 2012
11:02 am

MsDee
November 1st, 2012
10:35 am

i_am_soulstar,

Where did u see J.Jenkins at?
************************************************
This nightclub on Ponce de Leon called MJQ. I figured he was out since they have they day off today. I didn’t say much, just shook his hand and told him good luck with the season.

Astro Joe

November 1st, 2012
11:22 am

Kevin, obviously, we’re only one game into the season. But the Rockets don’t look like a playoff squad to me. Harden looked GREAT, the team (IMO) looked pretty bad. Again, only 1 game. But their frontcourt looked like a collection of back-ups forced to play more minutes than they should play. Over 82 games, that will be problematic. I’d be shocked if that team is even in the hunt for the 8th seed by March.

i_am_soulstar

November 1st, 2012
11:33 am

Astro Joe

November 1st, 2012
11:22 am

Kevin, obviously, we’re only one game into the season. But the Rockets don’t look like a playoff squad to me. Harden looked GREAT, the team (IMO) looked pretty bad. Again, only 1 game. But their frontcourt looked like a collection of back-ups forced to play more minutes than they should play. Over 82 games, that will be problematic. I’d be shocked if that team is even in the hunt for the 8th seed by March.
************************************************
Agreed. The guys in their frontcourt wouldn’t start for 3/4 of the teams in the league, and that may even be giving them too much credit.

The Truth

November 1st, 2012
11:36 am

“And I am so glad to see Marvin out of here…I don’t care if he’s an all-star…..Marvin 21/3…..glad to see his salary numbers off these books.” – KevinM

KevinA, your hatred for Marvin runs very deep, A Sith Lord you have become …

Astro Joe

November 1st, 2012
11:36 am

I took fulll advantage of the free NBA League Pass window last night… i probably watched portions of 5 different games (but spent most of the time checking out the Rockets). And i will say that one common theme i saw was that most teams were trying to play a much faster pace than in previous years. Even the Jazz, with one of the few true post players left in the league, were pushing the ball throughout the game. Plenty of announcers were using the new buzz-term “early offense” when discussing the team’s strategy.

AGTFan

November 1st, 2012
11:56 am

You go Ken. I agree with everything you said but a sports blog might not be the right place. I’ve felt for several years that Josh was the most underrated player in the NBA. It seem Hawks fans are worse about that than anyone. He’s one of those guys who people ignore all the good he does and focus on the occasional (maybe a little more than occasional) bad shot selection. Overall, he puts up HOF numbers year in and year out. He is and has been the heart of this team for several years.

Melvin

November 1st, 2012
11:59 am

Astro,

I took full advantage of the NBA League Pass as well but I mainly watched the Rockets/Pistons game b/c the Rockets are the Hawks first opponent. I too was impress by Harden last night, he look totally comfortable being the man (unlike Joe was in my opinion). If he stays healthy, I think a lot folks are going to be shock by his production at the end of the season. Yes, it was only one game but some of the things he did last night will carry over for an entire season. Looking at his box scores from last night would be an inaccurate assessment of his impact on the game last night. Lin may put more fans in the seats but Harden is definitely the leader of that team.

ag

November 1st, 2012
12:02 pm

O’Brien, I agree with your post. I know if Benson was on the team, I would go to opening night. I just hate politics – and that is what James and Benson went through.

Grandad

November 1st, 2012
12:09 pm

I thought you were supposed to make fun of Republicans;
ain`t that why they have Rush Limbaugh as their mascot ?

Astro Joe

November 1st, 2012
12:13 pm

Melvin, I think you must have misinterpreted something I said. Harden looked great. His frontcourt looked horrible. And I don’t think they will make the playoffs because over 82 games, you need at least average frontcourt play and IMO, they are below average collectively at the SF, PF and C spots.

Melvin

November 1st, 2012
12:23 pm

Astro,

I dont think so. You said Harden looked great 11:22 post and I expanded on it by saying I think he’s going to have a great season and basically last night was not a fluke.

Slimjr

November 1st, 2012
12:27 pm

I’m still waiting on my 200mpg v8..

Charles Pouge [1931] “Winnipeg carburetor”

Slimjr

November 1st, 2012
12:29 pm

Marvin looked like a #2 pick last night..

wordsmithtom

November 1st, 2012
12:32 pm

Grandad, the image of Rush on the sidelines throwing his pompom’s in the air is TOO RICH. Bet he even has a cute little skirt….what’s under it, I don’t want to imagine.