The day after arguably the greatest day in Louisville sports history, one of the saddest things to ever take place has happened. Russ “Basedking” Smith has decided that he will forgo his senior season in Louisville and enter into the NBA Draft.
If you have followed my post this year, you know how much I love and adore Russ Smith. He is and always will be my favorite Louisville Cardinal. I can remember the day that Russ first played for the Cards and he was one of the most reckless basketball players any of us have ever seen. Over the last three years we have seen him evolve into one of the best college basketball players in the country and it has been a blessing.
I wrote during senior day that even though it was hard to see Peyton and Gorgui go, seeing Russ Smith walk away will be one of the hardest things to endure. I would have never imagined that us fans wouldn’t get a senior day to say goodbye to Russ and his Russdiculous self. *sigh*
There will never be another Russ Smith and I say that with confidence. Russ Smith related with fans and always wanted to have fun. If you ever wanted a good laugh, all you had to do is go to his Instagram account and go through his pictures. His ability to make “#GetLucky”, “#ActAccordingly”, and my personal favorite “#WooWooSwag” household terms for Louisville fans is nothing short of remarkable.
Usually people get mad when players leave the team early and test their luck in the NBA. But with everything that Russ has done for this fan base over the last 3 years, he deserves to go out as a loved figure. Say what you want about him, but there is a place for him in the NBA somewhere. There is no debating that he can put the ball in the basket, seemingly at will sometimes, and with the absence of actual defense in the NBA theres no reason Russ can’t continue his success.
Lets just face the facts, if Russ hustles than he will be successful in the league. Look at Jeremy Lin for example, Lin peaked in the middle of the regular season last year solely because he hustled while nobody else did. I would be willing to bet that Russ has more talent then Lin by a large margin. Plus, I just have a hard time imagining Russ Smith playing in a basketball game and not giving 110% while on the floor.
Russ Smith is a projected early second round pick, the 4th pick in the second round to be exact. He has been compared to Allen Iverson by many people due to his lack of size, yet uncanny ability to score. That’s one comparison that Russ should gladly take…as long as he doesn’t complain about practice…I mean practice.
Well folks, let’s not treat this like a goodbye for good to Russ Smith. That is what L1C4 is all about, he may be done wearing the jersey but he will forever be with us. No Louisville fan will ever forget this team and how much of a catalyst he was. He will be a legend around the city for life and will be accepted with open arms whenever he wants to come back.
Russ, thank you for everything you have done!! The city of Louisville loves you and cannot thank you enough for the joy you have brought us over the last 3 years. We all wish you the best in the NBA and will be following and cheering you on during your entire journey. You will be missed Russ.