Lakers' Joe Smith Ties Record by Playing for 12th Different Team
At least he knew about it beforehand. But that's only because he had informed by a reporter.
When the forward checked in for the Lakers with 4:36 remaining in their 104-85 loss to Memphis at the Staples Center, it marked the 12th NBA team for which he has logged time. That tied him with three other men for the NBA record and tied him with two additional men for the all-sports mark of most teams for which having played.
"Oh, really, I didn't know that,'' Smith, acquired Dec. 15 from New Jersey, had told FanHouse previously when informed he would tie a record when he first steps on the floor for the Lakers. "I got to learn this offense. That will be the last thing on my mind.''
Smith laughed when asked if he would be sending his uniform to the Basketball Hall of Fame in Springfield, Mass.
"I'm going to keep everything,'' said Smith, who went scoreless in five minutes but had a block in his Lakers debut.
Smith tied the NBA mark of 12 teams already established by Chucky Brown, Tony Massenburg and Jim Jackson. In the three other major pro sports, two other players have seen time with 12 teams, baseball pitcher Mike Morgan and hockey player Mike Sillinger.
Since being the No. 1 pick in he NBA draft in 1995, Smith has played for Golden State, Philadelphia, Minnesota, Detroit, Milwaukee, Denver, Chicago, Cleveland, Oklahoma City, Atlanta, New Jersey and now the Lakers. He's had two stints apiece with Philadelphia, Minnesota and Cleveland, which overall makes him the most moved man in sports history.
But Smith is hoping there won't be a 13th team. Because it's regarded as an unlucky number, Smith said, "It's no telling what might happen with 13.''
Smith, though, also wants to remain with the two-time defending champion Lakers. He's never won a title, and only once has advanced to a conference final.
"It's a great team to be a part of,'' said Smith, who is on a one-year minimum contract and will be a free agent next summer. "If everything works out, I wouldn't mind finishing up here.''
If it doesn't work out with the Lakers, a record 13th team certainly is a possibility. Smith, 35, isn't thinking of retiring after the season.
Chris Tomasson can be reached at email@example.com or on Twitter @christomasson