Sports Outside the Beltway

NBA Iron man Randy Smith dead at age 60

He once held the NBA record for consecutive games played. RIP.

Randy Smith, a blindingly fast All-Star with the Buffalo Braves in the 1970s who once held the NBA record for consecutive games, died while working out on a treadmill. He was 60.

He had a massive heart attack Thursday while exercising at the Connecticut casino where he worked, son-in-law Lekan Bashua told The Associated Press on Friday.

Smith was pronounced dead at William W. Backus Hospital in Norwich. The Mohegan Sun Casino declined to comment on circumstances surrounding the death, citing medical confidentiality laws.

Jack Ramsay, Smith’s coach in Buffalo, called the 6-foot-3 guard the best athlete he ever coached.

“He had stamina, great speed and developed into a very good player,” Ramsay said Friday from the NBA Finals in Los Angeles. “And was so fun to be around. There was not a bad day in Randy’s life.”

Smith was drafted by the Braves in the seventh round in 1971 and averaged more than 13 points in his rookie season. He went on to play 13 years in the NBA and appeared in 906 consecutive games from 1972-83. His mark was broken by A.C. Green in 1997.

“He played hurt, gave it 100 percent and took pride in that,” said Durie Burns, a college teammate of Smith’s at Buffalo State.

Smith was a good shooter and great jumper who wowed fans with reverse dunks. He was one of the most popular players in Braves history, and in teaming with scoring champion Bob McAdoo he helped make the Braves under Ramsay one of the league’s exciting clubs.

“We could run,” Ramsay said, “and nobody could keep up with Randy’s sheer speed.”


Visitors Since Feb. 4, 2003

All original content copyright 2003-2008 by OTB Media. All rights reserved.