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Randy Smith (basketball)

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Title: Randy Smith (basketball)  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Los Angeles Clippers, 1978 NBA All-Star Game, 1971 NBA draft, 1974–75 Buffalo Braves season, NBA All-Star Game Most Valuable Player Award
Collection: 1948 Births, 2009 Deaths, African-American Basketball Players, Atlanta Hawks Players, Basketball Players from New York, Buffalo Braves Draft Picks, Buffalo Braves Players, Buffalo State Bengals Men's Basketball Players, Cleveland Cavaliers Players, Continental Basketball Association Coaches, Deaths from Myocardial Infarction, Detroit Pistons Draft Picks, Disease-Related Deaths in Connecticut, National Basketball Association All-Stars, New York Knicks Players, People from Bellport, New York, San Diego Clippers Players
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Randy Smith (basketball)

Randy Smith
Personal information
Born (1948-12-12)December 12, 1948
Bellport, New York
Died June 4, 2009(2009-06-04) (aged 60)
Norwich, Connecticut
Nationality American
Listed height 6 ft 3 in (1.91 m)
Listed weight 180 lb (82 kg)
Career information
High school Bellport (Brookhaven, New York)
College Buffalo State (1968–1971)
NBA draft 1971 / Round: 7 / Pick: 104th overall
Selected by the Buffalo Braves
Pro career 1971–1983
Position Guard / Small forward
Number 9, 7
Career history
19711979 Buffalo Braves / San Diego Clippers
19791981 Cleveland Cavaliers
1981–1982 New York Knicks
1982–1983 San Diego Clippers
1983 Atlanta Hawks
Career highlights and awards
Career NBA statistics
Points 16,262 (16.7 ppg)
Assists 4,487 (4.6 rpg)
Steals 1,403 (1.7 spg)
Stats at

Randolph "Randy" Smith (December 12, 1948 – June 4, 2009) was an American professional basketball player who set the NBA record for consecutive games played. From 1972-1982, Smith played in every regular season game, en route to a then-record of 906 straight games (since broken by A. C. Green).[1] He was born in Bellport, New York.


  • College 1
  • NBA 2
  • NASL 3
  • Post-NBA 4
  • See also 5
  • References 6
  • External links 7


Smith was an outstanding all-around athlete at Buffalo State College, earning All-American honors in three sports: basketball, soccer and track. (At Bellport High School on Long Island, Smith was a standout on the soccer and basketball teams, and set a state high jump record of 6-foot-6.) However, it was on the basketball court that Smith shone brightest, teaming with Durie Burns to lead the Bengals to three straight conference championships, including a trip to the Final Four of the NCAA Division II Tournament in 1970, where Smith earned All-Tournament honors.


Smith surprised everyone in training camp, and he made the final roster cuts. Despite standing only 6-foot-3, he was assigned to play forward. He averaged 13.4 points per game in his rookie season. Smith continued to improve beyond expectation, drawing on his tremendous speed, quickness and leaping ability. His style of play, along with contemporaries like Julius Erving, marked by fast breaks and "above the rim" ball movements influenced the offense style of the NBA in the late 1970s and early 1980s. Playing alongside league scoring champion Bob McAdoo, Smith averaged 21.8 points per game in the 1975-76 season, and was named to the All-NBA Second Team.

The highlight of Smith’s career was the 1978 NBA All-Star Game, where he came off the bench to lead all scorers with 27 points, and was named the game’s Most Valuable Player.[1]

Smith played for seven years for the Braves until the franchise was shifted to the San Diego Clippers in 1978. That first year with the Clippers, Smith had his fourth consecutive season averaging over 20 points per game.

In 1979, Smith was traded to the Cleveland Cavaliers, where he was named team captain and played for two years. He spent the 1981 season with the New York Knicks, before moving back to San Diego for another season. On November 3, 1982, Smith played in his 845th consecutive NBA game, breaking Johnny Kerr's iron man record.[2] The game was a 130–111 loss to the Philadelphia 76ers in which Smith started and scored 14 points. Smith's iron man streak ended at 906 games when he played his last game with the Clippers on March 13, 1983 and was traded to the Atlanta Hawks. The record was later surpassed by A. C. Green in 1997. Smith retired from professional basketball in 1983 after playing fifteen games for the Atlanta Hawks.[1]


In early 1975 at age 26, while nearing the height of his basketball career, Smith turned lots of heads at a tryout for the expansion Tampa Bay Rowdies of the North American Soccer League. Rowdies' management had hoped to sign the 2-time college soccer All-American for the outdoor season as one of their "required" American players; however his contract with the Braves would not allow him to play professional soccer at the time.[3] A year later while in between basketball contracts, the Rowdies gave him another look.[4][5] But it wasn't meant to be. After a third and final tryout in 1977, Rowdies coach Eddie Firmani felt that the combination of playing pro basketball and not playing any soccer for so long had diminished Smith's soccer skills too much.[6][7]


After retiring as a player, Smith was an NBA league executive whose duties included assisting former players in need, and he was a coach in the Continental Basketball Association before working at Mohegan Sun in Uncasville, where he worked in promotion.[1]

On June 4, 2009, Smith died in Norwich, Connecticut, after a heart attack during a workout.[1][8]

See also


  1. ^ a b c d e Goldstein, Richard (June 6, 2009), "Randy Smith, N.B.A. Iron Man, Dies at 60",  
  2. ^ "Clippers' Smith NBA Iron Man".  
  3. ^,1479313&dq=rowdies+doug+wark&hl=en
  4. ^,2102493&dq=randy+smith+rowdies&hl=en
  5. ^,2813548&dq=randy+smith+rowdies&hl=en
  6. ^,2498353&dq=randy+smith+rowdies&hl=en
  7. ^,377434&dq=randy+smith+rowdies&hl=en
  8. ^ Northrop, Milt (June 4, 2009), "Randy Smith, former Brave, dies at 60",  

External links

  • Buffalo Sports Hall of Fame
  • The book "Buffalo, Home of the Braves", complete narrative and photo history of the Buffalo Braves
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