The Detroit Pistons shockingly told Josh Smith (and the more than $30 million remaining on his deal) to go away in late December, and suddenly turned into world-beaters.
The Pistons lost 19 of their first twenty-two games this season, and were an atrocious (5-23) before parting ways with Smith.
Josh is thrilled now that he’s landed with the title-contending Houston Rockets, and says he’s happy for the success being enjoyed by his former teammates in Motown.
Per the WaPo:
“I’m excited for them,” Smith said, recently, when asked about the Pistons’ success without him. “We could’ve turned it around, I’m kind of thinking that. I text those guys every day and let them know – the ones I was really close to – of how proud I am of them and to keep up the good work.”
“Well, I really don’t pay attention. I watch ‘Family Guy.’ I watch ‘Maury Povich.’ That’s one of my favorite shows,” Smith said with a laugh. “I don’t really put my ears and eyes to negative publicity. I know that every player is critiqued in this league, especially by ones that don’t know the individual players, so I really can’t get mad. I mean, it’s something to talk about. If they had nothing to talk about on ESPN and other shows, no one would watch.”
“He’s been great. I’ve really enjoyed him. He’s got a high basketball IQ. He’s done everything I’ve asked him to do,” Rockets Coach Kevin McHale said. “He’s been great for us. I only judge people by my experiences with them and he’s been fantastic.” […] “I have no hard feelings,” Smith said. “I think I was signed under Joe Dumars and then coming into a new group, a new situation, I knew [Van Gundy] probably wanted his guys in there and it was a lot of young guys that needed to be groomed. They was more so in a rebuilding phase and he didn’t want to string me along for the process because he’s understanding that this is my 11th year and, you know, I should have an opportunity to play for something.”