In this week's episode of the Step Back, Dalton and Matt welcome former Dallas Mavericks point guard Dennis Smith Jr. to the podcast, in his first on-air interview with a DFW media entity since his trade to the New York. Dennis and the guys discuss Dennis’ adjustment to the New York lifestyle, what he thinks about his new team’s free agency moves this summer, his time in Dallas playing alongside Dirk, and his favorite in-game moments with the team.
“It was amazing,” Smith said of his time with Dirk Nowitzki. “Knowing of his accolades and being able to practice with him every day, and I sat right behind him on the plane on every flight, so you just really get to witness greatness personified up close. You know, you just have to soak all of that in, because there are not too many chances you’re going to get to have an opportunity like that. So, to see a real franchise cornerstone, or the greatest player in the history of a franchise is a pretty awesome thing for me.”
The guys then get into a deeper discussion with Dennis, focused on his mindset during and after the blockbuster trade that sent he, Wesley Matthews, and DeAndre Jordan to the Knicks, in return for Kristaps Porzingis near the trade deadline. They also get Dennis’ thoughts on a potential Christmas Day matchup with the Mavericks in Madison Square Garden next season.
“In Madison Square Garden I don’t think there is anything I would love more than that,” Smith said of the thought of playing against his former team. “To be honest, I really don’t think there is anything I would love more than that.
"I’m still good friends with everybody on that team, like I just did (Dorian Finney-Smith’s) camp, Luka calls me every other week, I just did the baseball game with (Devin Harris) and Dirk, you know all the older guys, I’m still friends with everybody on that team. But, you know I love to compete, so any chance I get to bust that ass, you know I’m good for it.”
Dalton and Matt finally wrap things up by getting Smith’s thoughts on staying close with his former teammates, including his extremely tight relationship with Finney-Smith, and why he thinks it is important to keep relationships like that alive in the League.