The day was November 16th, 2016. It was a day that would change the world forever. The day’s importance didn’t hit me until over two weeks later. Oh, was I naive. November 16th was the day Josh Smith took 18 threes in a Chinese Basketball Association game.
Josh Smith (shot 18 threes in a CBA game, forward for the Sichuan Blue Whales): Yeah, what’s it to you?
Xuexang Chen (head coach of the Sichuan Blue Whales): [audibly sighing] Do we have to talk about this?
Smith: I don’t know why coach didn’t start me.
Chen: He missed five threes in his first game.
Smith: Sometimes, ya know, you’re just feeling it. Me, personally, I feel like every shot I take, it’s going in.
Chen: He said that?
Smith: I finally got in with about half the first quarter to go, and of course, we were losing.
Chen: We weren’t.
Smith: It was go time. I got a pass off the pick-and-pop and set my feet. Bang.
Yi Jianlian (former NBA player, forward for the Guandong Southern Tigers): That might have been the first three I’ve ever seen him make.
Smith: Oh, then next, I blocked the shi- can I swear? No? Fine. I blocked this dude’s shot, got the board and took off runnin’. Probably should’ve shot the three, but I passed it to my teammate, Ruheng, and he missed.
Ruheng Wang (guard for the Sichuan Blue Whales): Josh missed his first five threes in the league.
Smith: Right at the end of the first quarter, I noticed Carlos Boozer was on the other team. Remember that guy?
Carlos Boozer (former NBA player, forward for the Guandong Southern Tigers): I was hoping he wouldn’t notice me.
Smith: Ah, man, I love that guy. It had been way too long. I asked how his wife, Rachel, was doing.
Boozer: My wife’s name was Cece. We’re divorced.
Smith: Oh, yeah, and Yi was there too. Damn, he can play. Not as well as me, though. Just ask Kirk Hinrich. He played with both of us. Just ask him.
Kirk Hinrich (former NBA player): I literally never said that.
Smith: Nooo, he definitely did. Kirk was my boy.
Hinrich: I most certainly was not.
Smith: Wait, they only showed three of my threes in the highlight reel? I made eight. Check it again.
Chen: Josh’s defense was atrocious. We lost by seven.
Smith: No, man, I swear. It was eight. Maybe seven. Either way. C’mon.
Chen: We’re 6-8.