Keith Smart's NBA playing career didn't last long, but that doesn't take away from the sentimental feeling of returning to where it began.
It's one reason the Kings' coach smiles whenever he is at Oracle Arena, as he was Wednesday when his team played the Warriors.
"I was drafted here as a young rookie in 1988," Smart said. "It's always fun to come here."
Smart was a second-round pick (41st overall) of the Warriors. He never played in a game for the Warriors, with his only two NBA games coming with the San Antonio Spurs in the 1988-89 season.
His most prominent time with the Warriors came as an assistant coach under Don Nelson. Smart's stint with the Warriors began in 2003 and lasted through the 2010-11 season, when he was head coach and led them to a 36-46 record.
That was a 10-game improvement, but the franchise's new owners hired Mark Jackson as coach before last season.
"From my time here, I was able to meet a lot of people and grow some friends that I will have for the rest of my days," Smart said. "I still live in the Bay Area. I always come back from time to time to meet some of those people that I've developed relationships with."
Oakland remains a special place for Smart
Sacramento Bee | Mar 7