Joe Dumars had Josh Smith at hello when they met at the stroke of midnight as the door to free agency swung open on July 1. But if Smith felt good about his decision to sign with the Pistons then he feels better about it now.
“I feel great about my choice” Smith said after a brisk workout Wednesday at the team’s practice facility. “Our team our roster is very impressive to me. We have a lot of hard workers who’ve been in here getting it in getting to know each other. I’m real excited. We have rookies that are sponges. They just want to get better. We have young fellas that play hard and everybody wants to get better and everybody wants to do it together. Whenever you are able to be a part of something like that it’s special.”

Smith’s third child a son was born a few days after he signed with the Pistons. The family is settled in Detroit now the first time in Smith’s life he’s lived away from Atlanta other than his days at the Virginia prep school Oak Hill Academy and he feels reinvigorated after nine seasons with the Hawks.

“I’m just excited man. I’m happy” he said. “I cherish moments. Whenever you go through situations where it might be a little rough sometimes and you come to a new beginning and it’s clear – everything is clear you know what they want out of you you know what they expect out of you – you just want to give your all. When you have people that have faith in you and confidence in you you don’t want them to be proven wrong. That’s how I feel. I come in every day to work hard and I can’t wait until the season starts so I can show these guys how appreciative I am of them for showing interest in me in free agency.”

Another reason Smith feels even more positive about his move today is the trade the Pistons swung a few weeks after he signed that added point guard Brandon Jennings from Milwaukee. The two share Oak Hill roots but it goes beyond that for Smith.

“I was excited – it was crazy” Smith said of his reaction when he heard about the trade. “I know what he’s capable of doing and I know the reason he played the way he played in Milwaukee – because he had to. He had to get the ball he had to score points. There wasn’t any low-post presence in Milwaukee so he and Monta (Ellis) had to take the bulk of the shots – some good some bad but he had to do it. As a player you understand that.