NBA Career of Derek Smith
Los Angeles Clippers were close to winning over Chicago Bulls in an exciting NBA game in November 1984 with a result 100:104 at the end. Derek Smith gained 33 points and was one of the best players in the game. By skills and talent, he was close to overthrown Michael Jordan and take the lead. Chicago Bulls succeed to go to finals after an exciting game, but with a lot of luck and uncertainty. LA Clippers and Derek Smith finished the competition, but they were partially satisfied due to the equality with a great NBA club such was Chicago Bulls at that time. He was considered the greatest potential and possible NBA star, however, the life wanted something different.
Derek Smith used different styles of training with their teams in both cases like a player and like coach. They ran often in order to increase the physical condition and speed. They train the accuracy by constant shooting from different distances to the basket, and that’s what a really useful exercise in the long run. Derek used the gym with his teammates when they want to increase their strength. They did it by developing muscles on the entire body but focused especially on arms, legs, and stomach. The team was really into different styles of training to try and increase not only their precision, but also to improve their reflexes. From training in the water to training on mixed martial arts equipment they did it all. He even got into the habit of training on a speed bag in the mornings and evenings, as it greatly improved his precision and fast twitch reflexes, which were the two main skills he was trying to improve.
Derek Smith – The Beginning
Derek Smith was born in Hogansville, Georgia on November 1, 1961. He spent the entire childhood in the area and played basketball more than often. That’s how he started to build the basketball skills. In Derek’s case, it began from an early age, when he was a little kid. He later continues to play more seriously when he joined Hogansville High School basketball team where he attended the classes.
That’s how Derek’s professional carer started developing. It was clear from the beginning he was born to play that sport which was noticed by the school officials and authorities. But that was just the beginning. Derek was quite ambitious, he wanted to finish college as well while playing the basketball at the same time. After successful completion of Hogansville High School, Derek joined the University of Lousiana and started to play for their college basketball team, known as Cardinals.
From the first year, his clubs began to defeat opponents clubs, so they won the NCAA championship by eliminating UCLA with a result of 59 against 54. But the college basketball team playing is always limited until a player finishes the studies, so the same was in Derek’s case as well. He played for the university until 1982 when he got an offer from an NBA club. Derek was drafted for the professional league in the same year when he stopped playing the college championship and was selected by the Golden State Warrior in the second round of 1982.
He was 35th overall pick by the club and got a shirt with a number 41. However, he stayed very short with the Golden State Warriors and played only several games for the club. In 1983, he transferred to the San Diego, which changed the name later to the Los Angeles Clippers. 18 was his new shirt number and the new club, and he got the position of a shooting guard. There, Derek started to build a remarkable NBA career that could be even better in more happier life circumstances.
In the 1984-1985 season, he moved up to approximately 22 points per game, while the score was even better in the next season when Derek recorded 23.5 points per game. However, he played only eleven NBA games within the season due to different circumstances and moved to the Sacramento Kings in the next season. His game score fell down due to unlucky injuries he had.
A problem with a knee was the most serious one because it caused severe pain during the games and even outside a field. It stopped Derek to train as much as he used to, and his movements during the games were slower and more insecure due to the same issue. He stayed with the Kings until 1989, however, he played only several games which were a really low score for three years of the membership.
Left & Joined The Boston Celtics
Finally, he left the club in 1989 after 3 not so successful seasons from a personal point of view. In the same year, Derek signed with Philadelphia 76ers and stayed with the contract for one season. At the end of his NBA career, he signed a new contract with the Boston Celtics. However, his unfortunate circumstances continued to hunt them, so he did not play a large number of games for Celtics as well and that signified the end of Derek’s professional basketball playing career.
However, he returned to the league in 1994 by signing a contract as a coach with the Washington Bullets. He stayed with the club for three seasons and it seemed a remarkable NBA coach career is in front of him, but unfortunate circumstances were stronger and faster again. Derek got a sudden heart attack in August 1994, while he was on a cruise for yearly ticketholders of the Washington Capitals and Washington Bullets, the attack was too strong for him, and he died while he was 34 years old. It was a great loss for his family, club and entire NBA league. He had approximately 93 kg and was 6’6″ tall.
Derek Smith’s Personal Life
Derek Smith had two kids with his wife Monika Smith. The first kid he got was his daughter named Sydney, and the second kid was his son named Nolan. The son followed the father in the career selection and started playing basketball when he was at a high school. Oak Hill Academy was his first club where he began to play more seriously. Later, he moved to a college and continued with the basketball there.
The Duke Blue Devils were his first university club, however, he later moved to the NBA’s Portland Trail Blazer. Nolan Smith, just like his father, was a team player during the Final Four of the NCAA D-1 tournament in 2010. He won the championship that year with the Devils.
After His NBA Career
After a career in NBA, Nolan went to Europe when he started playing for Cedevita Zagreb in 2013. From there, he moved once more to Turkish Galatasaray and they returned to the United States in 2014. Delaware 87ers was his next basketball club in his home country where he played in 2014 and 2015 until the end of his basketball career. Currently, Nolan works as a special assistant coach for the Duke Blue Devils, which is a part of NCCA Division. His father Derek Smith SR. was buried al Lousiana’s Cavin Hill Cemetery.