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Wednesday, January 23, 2013
Look forward

By Brian Windhorst
ESPN The Magazine

Josh Smith
Josh Smith and the Hawks surprised basketball fans this season.

This story appears in ESPN The Magazine's Feb. 4 Perfect Issue. Subscribe today!

The Hawks have surprised the masses this season, especially with the departures of Joe Johnson and Marvin Williams. Just three players have guaranteed contracts through next year. What does the future hold for your team?
Who knows? GM Danny Ferry has given us a lot of cap room, so there's going to be a chance for us to put a good team together. It's going to be an exciting summer.

Speaking of summer, Dwight Howard is an old friend of yours, and he's having a tough start in LA. Both of you will be free agents this summer. Have you talked about teaming up?
It's come up, but we don't focus on it. I know he's having a hard time right now. He's not 100 percent. And when you're playing in a city with major newspapers and TMZ, you're going to be in the spotlight. We're both trying to focus on our teams for now. We'll have the summer to talk about joining forces.

You recently bought all your teammates iPad minis. What's the next gift?
I hope they don't expect anything for a while! I wanted everyone to have the chance to get better by watching film.

You've long been criticized for relying too much on long jumpers, but you're shooting more from the paint than ever before. Are you getting enough credit for that?
I don't think so. But I'm not one of those guys who films himself and broadcasts to the world what I'm doing, so it doesn't matter to me what people say. Besides, even LeBron has critics, and he's the best player in the world.

With All-Star weekend coming up, do you feel like you've earned a trip?
That's not where my concerns are. My family really wants it more than I do, because they feel I should've been there a few times already.

The trade deadline is Feb. 21, and you always seem to be on the block. Are you at peace with that now?
I guess I'm an attractive player in terms of trade talks, so I get that. This is the third straight year my name has been swirled around, but I don't worry about that. I'm only thinking about the Hawks.

Word is your 3-year-old son, Josh, is already showing some talent on the floor. How long until he dunks on Dad?
Hey, he loves watching me play and coming to practices, but I'm a competitor, so I'm not going to let him do it.

Your 1968 powder blue Chevy Impala lowrider is famous. Do you still have it?
Yeah, I still have it. Oh, man, is that a nice car.

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