Former Pelicans, Grizzlies guard Russ Smith explodes for 81 points in China
Smith is currently in China and apparently is busy channeling his inner-Kobe Bryant, while playing as an import for Luoyang of the National Basketball League.
Playing his part in preserving the tradition of American players going bonkers in the far east, Smith exploded for 81 points on 25-for-43 shooting from the field in a 142-130 win with 10 threes and a 21-for-22 performance from the foul line as reported by Jeff Greer of the Courier-Journal.
His five-game averages so far? 61 points, 6.2 rebounds, 4.4 steals, and 3.6 assists per contest.
Smith also had eight rebounds, seven dimes, and five steals in an all-around showcase of basketball omnipotence on a Chinese hardwood, reminiscent of how J.R. Smith metamorphosed into full-blown J.R. Smith for the Zhejiang Cyclones in 2011, when the Cleveland Cavaliers‘ trigger-happy two-guard went off for 60 points on the strength of 13 drained 3-pointers.
Russ Smith’s 81 points today in 142-130 win
— Sportando (@Sportando) July 5, 2017
This wasn’t the first time Smith grabbed headlines by scoring a truckload of points. Last year, Smith made an NBA D-League record 65 points for the Delaware 87ers, albeit in a 140-129 loss to the Canton Charge.
Smith was drafted 47th overall by the Philadelphia 76ers in 2014 before involved in trades that had sent him to the New Orleans Pelicans and the Memphis Grizzlies. He has career averages of 1.5 points, 0.7 assists, and 0.6 rebounds in just 27 NBA games. Unable to find a stable job in the NBA, Smith has become one of the myriad of American globetrotting ballers plying their trade overseas. Smith, however, is hoping that by scoring monster numbers abroad, he’ll be able to hear from NBA teams soon.