EAST LANSING, Mich. -- Guard Steve Smith, whose solid
play might have been exceeded by his exceptional citizenship,
will retire from the NBA on Friday.
A 14-year veteran, former All-Star and NBA champion, Smith will
announce his retirement at the Clara Bell Smith Student-Athlete
Academic Center on the campus of Michigan State, his alma mater.
The Detroit native donated $2.5 million to the $7.5 million
academic center, which opened in 1998 and bears his mother's
Other off-court honors for Smith include the 1998 J. Walter
Kennedy Citizenship Award and the 2002 NBA Sportsmanship Award.
Smith began last season with the Charlotte Bobcats,
serving as a mentor to younger players. During the season, he
was traded to Miami, where he began his career in 1991.
Known for his post-up jumper, the 6-8 Smith averaged 14.3
points, 3.2 rebounds and 3.1 assists in 942 games with Miami,
Atlanta, Portland, San Antonio, New Orleans and Charlotte. He
shot 44 percent from the field and 84.5 percent from the line.
Smith's best season may have been 1997-98 with Atlanta, when he
averaged 20.1 points, 4.2 rebounds and 4.1 assists and made his
only All-Star appearance.
A 1992 All-Rookie Team selection, Smith was a member of Team USA
at the 1994 World Championships and the 2000 Olympics, both of
which won gold medals. He was a deep reserve on the 2003 NBA
champion San Antonio Spurs.
Winston, a 6-foot-6, 230-pound guard, averaged 16.2 points, 5.3
rebounds and 2.2 assists in 82 games at Alabama.
Winston played on the Grizzlies' 2005 Summer Pro League team,
averaging 6.6 points, 2.1 rebounds and 1.0 assists in seven games.
Blake, 25, spent the last two seasons with the Wizards, who
selected him in the second round of the 2003 NBA draft. The
6-foot-3 Blake, a member of Maryland's 2002 NCAA championship team,
averaged 4.3 points in 44 games last season. He missed a chunk of
the season with an ankle sprain.
Terms of Blake's contract were not disclosed.
"As we said when we signed him to the offer sheet, Steve has
competed at the highest level in college -- culminated by his
experience at Maryland and winning a national championship," Trail
Blazers general manager John Nash said in a statement Wednesday.
"With his two seasons at Washington, he adds to the limited
experience of a young team and we know he will bring additional
energy and enthusiasm to our training camp."
"Since we upgraded our backcourt situation the way we have, he
didn't think he had an opportunity here," said Ernie Grunfeld, the
Wizards' president of basketball operations. "He preferred being
in another situation."
Charlotte Bobcats: It has not been a good month for Bobcats rookies and their knees.
Swingman Alan Anderson will miss the early portion of training
camp after undergoing successful arthroscopic surgery on his
right knee Wednesday, two weeks after prized rookie forward Sean May had similar surgery.
Anderson's procedure was considered minor. He had damaged
cartilage removed by Bobcats team physician Dr. Glenn Perry at
Presbyterian Orthopedic Hospital.
An undrafted free agent, the 6-6 Anderson averaged 13.2 points
and nearly six rebounds per game as a senior at Michigan State.
May, one of Charlotte's two first-round picks, underwent
arthroscopic right knee surgery Sept. 13. He could miss
part of training camp, which begins Tuesday.
The team did not disclose when Sura would undergo surgery.
Training camp begins Tuesday.
"I'm optimistic about it because I just know how tough he is,
and from what the doctors say, he's still got some miles left in
that knee," Rockets general manager Carroll Dawson said.
Sura, 32, played in 61 games last season while battling an
assortment of injuries and averaged 10.3 points, 5.5 rebounds
and 5.3 assists.
A 1995 first-round pick by Cleveland, Sura has career averages
of 8.6 points, 3.4 rebounds and 3.8 assists. He also has played
with Golden State, Detroit and Atlanta.
Terms were not disclosed.
Smith, a 6-foot-10 forward, averaged 13.4 points and 6.0
rebounds last season for the Yakima Sun Kings of the CBA. He was
originally chosen by the Chicago Bulls in the second round of the
2003 NBA draft, but was waived after spending the first 28
regular-season games on the injured list.
Information from The Associated Press and SportsTicker was used in this report.