A Love Letter to Josh Smith from Your New Biggest Fan, Who Also Roots for the Pistons

Dear Josh,

They don’t appreciate you enough in Atlanta. You know it and I know it.

Come to Detroit, Josh Smith. Come to Detroit.They don’t appreciate your well-toned, both-ends-of-the-floor talents. And they don’t fully grasp the tremendous upside you still have as a four-yet veteran who’ll turn just 23 in December. Already ten times better than Carmelo Anthony defensively and ten times more durable than Tracy McGrady.

But those improbable three-pointers you hit from the corner against the Celtics in the first round of the playoffs? Crickets and tumbleweeds on a new contract. A career average of 2.6 blocks/per as a 6-9 tweener forward? Val Kilmer as the voice of K.I.T.T.

I’m scratching my head just as much as you are, Josh. I mean, you’re a restricted free agent and your options are limited, right? The Hawks front office has a chance to break their moribund streak of poor decision-making by bringing you back. If they wanted to lock you up, Josh, a guy with All-Star games in his future and at least a few Defensive Player of the Year awards, all they’d have to do is pay you what you rightfully deserve.

Is $12+ million/per over the next five or six years too much to ask for a man of your up-and-down skill set? No. I don’t think it is either, Josh.

And, yet… you wait. I wait. The NBA world waits for those unappreciative Atlanta Hawks to tender you an offer and lock you up before you’ve even hit your prime. It hasn’t come yet, Josh, and I think it’s time for you and I to face the cold, hard facts: they don’t want you anymore.


They have other plans with other players. You’re too immature, too streaky, too inconsistent. You saw what they did to your former teammate Josh Childress–they’re pulling the same thing on you. Horseshit. Insult. They don’t want to pay you, Josh; they’re even spreading rumors. Mmhmm… my source reported that one key figure in the Hawks front office said you thought Chris O’Donnell was “dope” as Batman & Robin. You don’t want to play for them.

You’ve had enough. Hey, pay attention: you don’t want to play another game for the Atlanta Hawks. You won’t play another game for the Atlanta Hawks.

And you know why, Josh? Because you’re wanted elsewhere. Oh, yes, you’re wanted somewhere where all the team does is bathe in an enternal fountain of wins. Win, win, win. No funny games, no near-upsets, just wins. And when you pull that red, white, and blue jersey on next season as the latest and greatest member of the Detroit Pistons, the crowd will erupt as you are announced as the team’s new starting power forward, applause deafening like a million Donkey Kongs pounding the cement in triumph after a 1st place finish in the mirror Leaf Cup.

Josh Smith Photo Credit: Icon SMI

Yes, the crowd will roar. Rip will jab-punch your chest in the locker room before the game like he does every night to every teammate. ‘Sheed will invite you into his pregame dance circle as a special guest. Your new point guard (remember what those are like? I know the PG’s have been shaky in Atlanta) Rodney Stuckey will look you in the eye and you’ll know you’re in the right place And you’ll nod, and look into the TV camera, and mouth the words “You were right, Brian. You were right.”

And you’ll win games. And you’ll dunk on weaker opponents at one end and swat their weak shots on the other. You’ll continue to develop your jumper, become a better passer, become a better person, and eventually share dual duties with your new BFF Stuckey as the future faces of an entire franchise. You’ll be an All Star. You’ll be a champion.

You’ll be a goddamn beast.

All of this and more, Josh. It’s all waiting for you in Detroit. And all it’s going to take for you to make this all happen is four short words, five momentous syllables, delivered in haste to that sorry-sack of unappreciative losers in Atlanta: “Trade me to Detroit.”

It’s that easy, Josh. Your new GM, Hall of Famer and two-time NBA champion Joe Dumars, will take of all that legal mumbo-jumbo. Don’t you worry about a thing. It’s time to grow up, Josh, and be the man you were born to be: Josh Smith, F, Detroit Pistons.

See you soon.


Brian Spencer


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