Grantland: What Is Charles Smith Doing in North Korea?


We all remember Charles Smith. I certainly do. He ruined my life.

But what in holy hell is he doing in North Korea?

My investigative report.

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Jim Cavan

Beyond his KnickerBlogger roots, Jim's work has appeared at, Grantland, The Classical, and the New York Times. He is currently working on a biography of Robert Silverman, entitled "Clownin' and Astoundin.'" Follow him on Twitter @JPCavan.

20 thoughts to “Grantland: What Is Charles Smith Doing in North Korea?”

  1. @1 — I literally lauged out loud for a full minute when I read this. Thanks for the memories…

  2. It’s Dennis Fucking Rodman going to party with a bloody dictator who keeps threatening to blow up the United States, Charles! How did you think this would turn out?
    Rodman showed up utterly stoned to a national press conference.
    He planned to sing happy birthday to dear leader…the guy who uses antiaicraft guns to execute people. Do you know what antiaicraft guns do to bodies, Charles? It ain’t a neat hole.
    Charles is once again showing what I gently refer to a poor judgment.
    Leave it at…
    And at 6’10 with out stretched arms you could dunk the damn ball without jumping. GO FOR THE DUNK AND TAKE THE FOUL!

  3. I dont know about most of the readers here since the age differences is vast but for me still to this day the toughest, most frustrating Knick loss Ive ever dealt with was Game 5 in 1993 vs the Bulls. Not even close really. 2nd is Game 3 of the 1994 NBA Finals. Not Games 6 or 7 but Game 3 when Cassell hit a 3pter with like 40 secs left to give the Rockets a 2pt lead. I fully was expecting the Knicks to sweep the 3 games at MSG and win the series in 5 after their Game 2 win in Houston tied the series at 1.

    Ive heard JVG say the toughest/most regrettable losses to him was actually Game 3 vs the Bulls in 1993 because they held Jordan to something like 3 for 18 shooting from the field but still got blown out and Game 3 to the Rockets in 1994 which I mentioned above. But for us fans who grew up with the 1990’s Knicks the toughest loss to swallow will always be the Charles Smith game.

  4. maybe he should have started the Charles Smith Foundation for Kids Who Can’t Dunk Good and Want to Dunk Better.

  5. Big Blue… That was the last NYK Playoff game I attended… Game 3, NBA Finals, 1994… I still have my towel hanging above my childhood bed in my childhood bedroom… Its there for me to see, whenever I go back home to Staten Island… I guess, its not a great memory??? I’ve only been to a handful of games with that kind of decibel level. Not that anyone cares but ill share two of them anyway… St. Joes vs. Villanova in 2000 at the Palestra… And then 4 years later, St Joes vs. Ok. St. at the Meadowlands… BOTH LOSSES … Why are the most exciting games in my life, losses?!

  6. I’m 38 yrs old. Been a NY Knicks fan since 1989. That been said, words can’t describe the way I feel about that f-ing day Charles f-ing Smith cost us that f-ing game 5 against Jordan’s Bulls. F… Charles Smith…

  7. I’ll tell you what he’s not doing. Dunking the fucking basketball.

    Perhaps he’s learned a pump-fake over the past 20 years?

  8. Looking back you know which game didnt bother me then and still doesnt now though you would think it would because of how heart-breaking it was?? Game 7 vs Indiana in 1995. Probably because it was Ewing who missed the shot and he is my favorite player ever so cant be too mad at him (kinda like Mo blowing the save in Game 7 vs Arizona). Plus he had a monster game that day.

    I remember being extremely bummed out losing Game 6 vs the Heat in 1997 but the suspensions was the real reason they lost. Just was frustrating because I wouldve loved seeing that Knicks team play MJ’s Bulls in the conference finals. The only other game I remember being livid about was Game 3 vs the Heat in 2000, the Anthony Carter over the backboard game-winner. But it was still early in the series and the Knicks did eventually win the series so that loss is meaningless now. Game 6 vs Indiana last season was tough but it was such a long time since we had to deal with such a tough loss to end the season it was kinda nice being in that position again lol.

  9. The craziest thing about the Knicks trying to trade JR is that he couldn’t get an offer for the MLE during the offseason after winning the Sixth Man of the Year, so why would teams be interested in him at the MLE now after having such a terrible start to the season? Anyone willing to take on JR would undoubtedly be trying to trade an even worse contract. So I’d honestly prefer just keeping Smith.

  10. Charles fucking Smith. Time doesn’t heal all wounds. In recent Knick history the most painful loss for me has to be Game 6 at Indiana. A combination of awful personnel rotations from Woodson, painfully brutal play from JR and Kidd while Copeland and Shump sat on the bench and egregious officiating with Tyson and K-Mart both fouling out on interesting calls while Hibbert punched guys in the face but went up vertically so it was cool. The most frustrating part of the Pacers series last year was that I really think we had Miami’s number last year.

  11. The Charles Smith game was so much worse (to me) than game 6 against the Pacers last season. By the time game 6 rolled around last year it was pretty apparent to me that we were going to lose. Our guys were banged up and it was clear Woody didn’t know what he was doing. It was definitely a very frustrating end to the best Knicks season in a long, long time, but there was nothing surprising about that loss, and losses bother me less when you see them coming. At that point the Pacers were pretty clearly better than us.

  12. The most frustrating part of the Pacers series last year was that I really think we had Miami’s number last year.

    But the great thing about losing to the Pacers is that you can continue to believe that!

  13. Yeah, that Charles Smith game is forever etched into my psyche. Smith Stopped Again! — And the thing about it was that it wasn’t an elimination game, but it felt like one. After that happened there was no way that the series was coming back to NY. The fans knew it. The Buills knew it. And the Knicks knew it.

    I had nightmares of Game 5 v Indiana in 1994 too, but unlike the year before, the Knicks actually bounced back stronger and won the series, so that eased the trauma a bit.

    But 1995 games 1 and 7 were rough. Probably as bad as the Smith game because we weren’t losing to Jordan and his obvious deal with the devil, but rather to Reggie Freakin’ Miller.

    …and, of course, there was Starks shooting 2-22. That was a slow, painful death, unlike the others. Like having your legs cut off and being left for the heyenas. (Was there no room on the North Korean team for a streaky shooting-guard?)

  14. Z, my thing about the playoff games vs the Pacers in 1994 and 1995 was that I never thought the Knicks would lose the series. I felt so strongly that the Knicks were such a better team that even after that horrible Game 5 loss in 1994 I totally expected the Knicks to win the series which they did. Ditto 1995, even down 3-1 after Ewing hit the game-winner in Game 5 I totally expected to win the series. Thats why I wasnt really mad when they lost Game 7 in 1995, I was just shocked.

    1999 and 2000 was different because I wasnt as confident in the Knicks beating the Pacers. They had homecourt both times plus Reggie Miller was just due to finally make an NBA Finals which unfortunately happened at the Knicks expense in 2000. Plus the Knicks were so banged up both years.

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