I’m going to be totally honest: The name Garfield Smith meant very little to me until about two hours ago. Smith played 73 games for the C’s in 1971 and 1972 before falling out of the league, resurfacing briefly for the San Diego Conquistadors of the ABA (head coach: K.C. Jones!) in ’73 and then disappearing from the NBA and/or ABA.
I’m pretty sure I’ve heard the name before, that it was sitting in the recesses of my brain next to other obscure 1970s players. But I can’t tell you I really know anything about Garfield Smith.
So why am I writing about him now?
Because of this tidbit in a story by Scott Ostler in the San Francisco Chronicle (huge hat tip: Golden State of Mind):
Biedrins is 3-for-23 from the line this season. The NBA record low percentage, one season, for a player shooting at least 20 free throws, is held by Garfield Smith, Boston Celtics, 1971-72, shooting 6-for-31 from the line, 19.4 percent. Biedrins is barely better than 13 percent.
Yikes. That 6-of-31 mark wasn’t an aberration for Smith, either. He shot 22-of-56 (.393) in 1971 and 28-of-93 (.301) the next season in San Diego. He shot significantly higher from the field in both of those seasons.
Readers, I ask you: Does anyone remember anything about Garfield Smith? Anything? An admittedly quick Google search, cursory scan of my C’s library and look at the usual hoop nerd sites yields nothing other than the basics (college, career stats, draft position, etc.) about our man Garfield.
Readers: Tell us something about him, so that he is not just a footnote in Andris Biedrins’ mission to disgrace the memory of Ivan Drago.