August 25, 2011

Former NBA champ Steve Smith to launch NBA Jam in India

Steve Smith, the former NBA champ will be visiting India to launch the 3rd 'NBA Jam'. Smith, who had a fairly productive career in the 1990s, which included an All Star appearance in 1998 and winning a championship in his ageing years with the San Antonio Spurs in 2003.

His years with the Miami Heat (1991-1995) and the Hawks (1994-99) were probably the most productive individually of his career (he averaged above 20 ppg three times in this stretch), and the stint with the Spurs was his high-point for team success, but I remember Smith mostly for his contribution to the Portland Traiblazers, for whom he played just 2 seasons from 1999-2001, but left some indelible memories.

That Blazers team will go down in history as one of the greatest to NOT win an NBA championship. In 2000, Portland boasted a team with Damon Stoudamire, Steve Smith, Scottie Pippen, Rasheed Wallace, and Arvydas Sabonis in the starting lineup, and Bonzi Wells, Detlef Schrempf, Brian Grant, Jermaine O'Neal, and Greg Anthony off the bench. Averaging 14.9 ppg, Smith was the 2nd leading scorer in this balanced squad. This team banded together to give the LA Lakers one of the most classic Conference Finals of all time, and on of the best NBA games ever. With the series tied 3-3, the Blazers blew a 15 point lead in the fourth quarter and watched the Lakers reach the NBA finals, and eventually become champions for the first time in the Shaq-Kobe era.

Smith did get his ring though, with the Tim Duncan-led Spurs three years later. A specialised shooter, he played his role of the bench to help the team succeed.

Since retirement, Smith has worked in broadcasting, both for the Atlanta Hawks and for NBA TV.

Smith will be launching the NBA Jam on September 10-11 at the Ambiance Mall in Gurgaon. From

NBA JAM India is a four-city, five-week free interactive basketball experience, which captures the excitement of the NBA through basketball activities, entertainment acts, and off-court events. The opening event will take place on September 10 & 11 and then travel to five malls across Mumbai, Delhi, Chennai and Bangalore.

NBA Legend Steve Smith will launch the event in Delhi, interacting with the fans and spectators at the event and making various marketing appearances during his time in India.

At NBA Jam, fans are transported to the floor of an NBA arena on Center Court, which hosts exciting skill competitions and shooting contests. The highlight activity of NBA Jam will be the Sprite 3x3 tournament which will run daily at each NBA Jam stop.

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