Before the Cavaliers legend Bingo Smith entered the Cleveland basketball scene, he first spent his rookie year with the former San Diego Rockets. He played only one season for the team but after he got drafted in the 1970 expansion draft, Smith immediately made a name for himself and eventually transformed the young basketball squad into playoff contenders. In fact, during his stint with the Cavaliers, he played a pivotal role in winning the 1975-76 NBA Central Division. For those who fancy today’s hard-hitting shooters, here’s a quick overview of Smith’s illustrious career.
Bingo and his rainbow jumper
You would have thought that only bingo halls are keen of chanting the word “Bingo” but way back before LeBron James entered the Cavaliers’ arena, “Bingo” was the favorite word to chant come game time. See, most Cleveland natives found recreation in the bingo industry. Before there was Internet, people frequented the entertainment scene, which paralleled the same setting that ballsupbingo provided its fans. Similarly, the same name of the game was becoming more popular not only in the local bingo halls but also on the hardwood. Smith is that type of player on the court who can mimic the same intensity displayed by a bingo participant shouting “Bingo!” at the top of his lungs. And perhaps with great marksmanship and finesse, even bingo players will enjoy his mesmerizing ability to shoot the ball from the distance.
In fact, this 6-foot-5 swingman patented the rainbow jumper, which is now popularized by Dirk Nowitzki ’s high-arching shot. His notoriety on the offensive side was often feared by the league. Anyone who was set to mark Smith was in for a difficult assignment.
As a result of his sharpshooting skills, he anchored the team’s offense and even led the Cavs to the Eastern Conference finals during the 1976 playoffs. He was a crucial part of Cleveland’s historical “Miracle of Richfield,” wherein he helped rally the team against the former Washington Bullets. Smith played a huge role in Game 2 of the series. He scored a team-high 17 points and nailed the game-winning shot for an 80-79 victory. Unfortunately, the team fell short in their championship rally as they eventually lost in the conference finals against Boston Celtics.