Joe Smith was born July 26, 1975.
Born and raised in Norfolk, Virginia, Smith played two seasons at Maryland. In 1993-94, he averaged 19.4 points, 10.7 rebounds, and 3.1 blocks and was voted the ACC Rookie of the Year. He was Naismith College Player of the Year in 1995.
Smith was selected first overall by the Golden State Warriors in the 1995 NBA draft, going directly ahead of Antonio McDyess, Jerry Stackhouse, Rasheed Wallace and high school prodigy Kevin Garnett.
In Smith's rookie season he started every game, averaging 15.3 points and 8.7 rebounds. He was named to the NBA All-Rookie First Team and was running up for Rookie of the Year behind Damon Stoudamire.
After two and a half solid seasons with the Warriors, Smith expressed his desire to return to the East Coast, and was traded to the Philadelphia 76ers. From this point on, Smith's numbers declined, and he began his run as the journeyman of the NBA.
Following the 1999-00 season, Smith and the Minnesota Timberwolves were under fire for being involved in a salary cap tampering scandal. In exchange for signing a contract that was perceived as below his market value, the Timberwolves promised Smith a future multi million dollar deal so that they could acquire more players in the short term.
Here is a chronological list of every team Smith played for during his 16-year journey in the NBA: Golden State Warriors, Philadelphia 76ers, Minnesota Timberwolves, Detroit Pistons, Minnesota Timberwolves (second stint), Milwaukee Bucks, Denver Nuggets, Philadelphia 76ers (second stint), Chicago Bulls, Cleveland Cavaliers, Oklahoma City Thunder, Cleveland Cavaliers (second stint), Atlanta Hawks, New Jersey Nets and finally the Los Angeles Lakers.
Due to the fact that he was selected before four very solid NBA players, his career is considered by many to be somewhat of a disappointment.
Smith averaged 10.9 points and 6.4 rebounds for his career.