Just the name alone probably makes Knick fans want to vomit. It is unfortunate for Charles Smith that he will always be one of the most infamous Knicks. Smith was a decent player, but will always be remembered for one moment; 1993, Game 5, Bulls. Enough said.
Smith gets all the blame, but some of it is unfair. We all know he should have gone up strong and dunked the ball. He was probably fouled at least 5 times, but the refs did not make the call. Additionally, the Knicks were awful from the foul line in the 4th quarter, putting them in a position to lose.
The Knicks went on to lose the series in 6. I still think that was the best Knick team during their 1990s run, even better than the two teams that went to the finals. They beat the Bulls in 1994, but there was no Jordan. What made the 93 series so heartbreaking was they were better than the Bulls. Being able to overcome Jordan at least once would have meant so much to Knick fans and Patrick Ewing’s career.
Smith came over to the Knicks, along with Doc Rivers, in 1992 as both were part of the massive trade where the dealt Mark Jackson to the Clippers. He played 3 1/2 years for the Knicks. I would describe his time with the Knicks as disappointing. They believed Smith would help Patrick Ewing offensively and defensively in the low post, but it did not pan out as they planned. He was a 20 point scorer with the Clippers, but never came close to approaching that with the Knicks.
Smith was 6’10, but played more like a guy who was 6’3. The best word to describe him would be soft, and that is not a label any player wants. He seemed out of place with the rough and tough manner with which the Knicks played. A guy with his size should be able to average more than 5 rebounds a game, which he only did once in his Knick career. People criticize Stoudemire for his rebounding, but at least he still gets close to 10 a game. Smith struggled to get half of that number.
After the 93 Bulls series, Smith had no chance of ever earning a warm place in the hearts of Knick fans. He was not a New York type of player, and will always be remembered for his failures, especially under the basket against the Bulls. If he made the shot or got fouled and made the foul shots, his entire career would have changed. He would have become beloved by Knick fans for that one moment.
Allan Houston was tremendously disappointing to many Knick fans. However, once he hit the game winning shot against Miami in the first round of the 1999 playoffs, became a hero. Knick fans will always remember that shot. Smith failed and will always be remembered as a failure.