Los Angeles Clippers broadcaster pleads not guilty to theft? Really?

Yes. Really.

And of course it's the same guy who drew a co-suspension for on-air racism earlier this season. From the Associated Press:

Los Angeles Clippers announcer Michael Smith has pleaded not guilty to stealing $735,000 from a golfing buddy in a failed development deal.

Orange County district attorney's spokeswoman Farrah Emami says Smith posted $25,000 bond Thursday. A pretrial hearing is scheduled for Feb. 5.

Smith and business partner Bruce Furst are charged with grand theft. They are accused of persuading a friend into using his home for collateral on a $735,000 loan to finance a Dana Point development deal. The market collapsed, the deal went sour and the victim is expected to lose his home.

Smith and Furst face up to five years in prison if convicted. Furst posted bail Monday.

Smith, 44, played for the Clippers and Boston Celtics before becoming a broadcaster.
Doesn't it figure? The best part of this story, from a Basketbawful perspective, is that Smith was brought up just yesterday by Cortez in the comments section...for stealing the future from the Boston Celtics.

Allow me to explain. In 1989, the Celtics had an unusually high draft pick (13) because Larry Bird had missed all but six games of the 1988-89 season due to dual Achilles surgery. This was a great opportunity for a perennial contender, since those teams are usually forced to pick someone at the end of the first round of the draft, and that someone rarely makes the team.

During his senior year at Brigham Young University, Smith had averaged 26.4 PPG and 8.6 RPG while shooting almost 53 percent from the field and nearly 40 percent from downtown. Smith's success led (of course) to the inevitable "Next Larry Bird" talk. Between that and the fact that former (and beloved) Celtic Danny Ainge had also attended Brigham Young, Red Auerbach was sold.

Said Auerbach: "He's another Larry, I hope."

And you know what? Red was right. But only if he was talking about Larry from the Three Stooges. Smith was truly bawful in every sense of the word. His defense was terrible, he couldn't rebound and he found it nearly impossible to get his shot off against NBA players. Basically, he was Adam Morrison before Adam Morrison was Adam Morrison.

And now for the kicker. Here's a list of some players the Celtics overlooked in their rush to draft Smith: Tim Hardaway (14th pick), Shawn Kemp (17th), B.J. Armstrong (18th), Blue Edwards (21st), Vlade Divac (26th) and Cliff Robinson (36th). They also overlooked Dana Barros (16th) and Sherman Douglas (28th), which is meaningful only because the Celtics would later sign Barros as a free agent and trade Brian Shaw for Sherman Douglas.

Smith lasted two seasons with Boston before getting waived. And, naturally, he was picked up by the Clippers. I mean, that makes perfect sense, doesn't it?

Speaking of which, that reminded me of a Celtics-Clippers game from Smith's second (and last) season with Boston. Smith received a DNP-CD, and Larry Bird might have received a WotN entry if Basketbawful had been around back then (Bird went 3-for-9 from downtown and committed a game-high 7 turnovers).

But there was a great Bird moment where he nailed a three...then made Clipper Ken Bannister slap palms with him. Here's the video, which unfortunately didn't catch the moment live, because the L.A. crowd started cheering "Larry! Larry!" right after it happened.

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Blogger Dan B. said...
Beyond the horrendously bawful Michael Smith continual fail... that video is all kinds of win.

Anonymous Shayan said...
It's only fitting the announcer tried to steal from the cheapest owner in Basketball.

Blogger zyth said...
holy crap,was that an illegal shuffle by Larry?

Anonymous lowgs13 said...
The most amazing part of that video is when he loses the ball going up, it bounces off the structure behind the backboard, hits the connection between the structure and the backboard, then comes back over the backboard entirely and goes in the basket. It was like one of those Larry Bird vs. Michael Jordan horse shots in the McDonald's commercial except this was an actual shot.

Blogger AnacondaHL said...
Bawful, your old NBA slash article is getting love right now at SomethingAwful. And then this was shared:

Atlanta players only meeting fan fiction (sfw). The chicken eggs analogy is amazing.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
With the way he's been playing this year, does Z-Bo deserve to get removed as the head of the Basketbawful logo? I mean, the guy has definitely toned down the crazy, puts up crazy numbers on a respectable team, and is a legit All-star candidate.

Can we get a poll set up here on whether or not to replace Zach Randolph at the head of the Logo? My personal vote would go for that picture of Arenas doing the finger-guns.

Blogger chris said...
Hey, remember the days when the Clippers actually had their OWN arena!??!

Blogger Basketbawful said...
Anonymous -- You are absolutely right, and Gilbert might have to be the new Head Cheese of the Bawful logo...

Anonymous Anonymous said...
"At least kick him in the groin or something nasty!"

Blogger TheDocta said...
Glad I found this blog its amazing! That Larry Bird hi five is epic!! hahaha