Thursday, June 11, 2009

Pitarresi: Farewell to Randy Smith


The death of former Buffalo Brave Randy Smith the other day brought back some memories.


Smith was in college the same time I was. I never saw him play then, and only on television when he made the NBA, but we were well aware of his exploits. He was a big name back then.


Smith went to Division III Buffalo State. I have no idea why he was there, because he clearly was a big-time athlete. He was All-American in basketball and soccer and track, went on to become an NBA all-star, and held the league’s consecutive games streak for many years. That from a small college seventh-round draft choice.


Buffalo Braves coach Jack Ramsay, a man whose knowledge of the game is unsurpassed, call Smith the best athlete he ever coached.


"He had stamina, great speed and developed into a very good player," Ramsay told the Los Angeles Times. "And was so fun to be around. There was not a bad day in Randy's life."


We wish he had a lot more of them to enjoy.


Blogger sieve said...

Ramsey - the most lucid, literate and interesting basketball "color" commentator ever, bar none.

Smith - his success in the NBA was true manifestation of the over-used "shock the world" phrase.
To anyone outside of western NY, he came out of nowhere. He could play with the best of them.

(if Orlando could shoot free throws like Randy, they'd be in the driver's seat - one of the great mysteries of sport how these guys are so abysmal at the line)

June 12, 2009 6:18 AM  

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