Smith's jersey retired, but not dreams 'We win it all one year,' ex-Terp says of fantasy

March 03, 1996|By Ken Murray | Ken Murray,SUN STAFF

COLLEGE PARK -- Just like Gary Williams, Joe Smith dreams about what might have happened had he stayed for his final two seasons at Maryland.

And in Smith's mind, the dream is always golden.

"We win it all one year," the Golden State Warriors' rookie power forward was saying yesterday when he returned for a nostalgic visit to Cole Field House to have his No. 32 hung from the rafters.

Smith, whose Warriors play in New York against the Knicks today, said he fantasizes often about what might have been if he hadn't left the Terps after his sophomore season for the NBA.

"I do that all the time," he said. "It's something I can't get out of my mind. I will do that until I'm supposed to be finished. Everybody thinks about what the team would be like."

Smith bought a satellite dish to catch Maryland games when he's on the West Coast and he talks often by phone to his old teammates.

"Johnny [Rhodes] told me he had a dream I came back," Smith said.

Smith was honored before the Terps' 83-71 victory over Virginia, and then, at Williams' invitation, watched the game from Maryland's bench -- a vantage point he admits he is unfamiliar with.

The Terps seemed to revel in his return. Point guard Duane Simpkins couldn't resist ribbing Smith during one interlude on the bench.

"I'll tell you a secret -- he had mismatched socks on, too," Simpkins said. "Multimillion dollars with mismatched socks."

Rhodes, who hit only four of 17 shots, kidded that he got his shooting slump from Smith, who went 1-for-15 against the Chicago Bulls on Friday night.

Then there was Williams. When the Terps coach was told about Smith's championship dream for the Terps, he said, "I'd like to think that . . . but we'll never know."

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