Zhaire Smith’s career trainwreck: Thai chicken’s fault

Zhaire Smith in 2018 he was selected with the 16th overall call in the Draft by the Phoenix Suns and immediately traded to Philadelphia in exchange for Mikal Bridges. Although there were significant expectations for him, he played just 6 games in his rookie season with a 6.7-point average. He was no better the following year: 4 total games and even averaged 4.6 minutes on the floor. To date these are the only 10 games played by Smith in the NBA. He was traded to Detroit and immediately cut, then signed by Memphis and released again before he could set foot on the court. He was included on the roster of the Memphis Hustle, in the G-League, in 2021 but never played a minute. This summer he played in the Summer League with Oklahoma City and then managed to sign a Exhibit 10 with the Cleveland Cavaliers.

In short, Smith in a matter of a few years and with a very small number of games played fell off the NBA radar despite the premise being good. Until now, the wreckage of his career had remained a mystery, but it was the Texas Tech product himself who explained “what’s behind it.”, in addition to an already known foot injury dating back to his first year in the NBA. In an interview with HoopsHype, Zhaire Smith revealed that he was in serious danger of dying because of a food allergy back in the Philadelphia days.

“It was because of the Thai chicken. I ate it and immediately had the first symptoms: my lips became moist, so I went home to make sure everything was okay. I started brushing my teeth and for 10 minutes everything was fine, then the itching started. I called a friend to bring me some Benadryl, once I got it my toes also started to sweat and I called 911. I could feel my body on fire. They took me to the hospital and I stayed there about a month and a half. I lost 60 pounds [circa 27 kg, ndr], my body was deteriorating, they started feeding me with a tube and there were wires everywhere. It was a difficult situation to deal with, but it made me stronger Smith recounted.

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