WASHINGTON – Katie Smith, an original member of the Lynx and the WNBA’s second all-time leading scorer, called it a career Sunday.
The 39-year-old Smith had seven points in 28 minutes for the New York Liberty in her final game, a 70-52 loss to the Washington Mystics.
Smith left the game with 36 seconds left to a standing ovation from both the home crowd (she played for the Mystics in 2010) and a large contingent of New York fans, who chanted “Ka-tie, Ka-tie” in the game’s final moments.
The seven-time All-Star finishes her career with 6,446 points. She holds the league record for most career three-pointers with 904.
Smith was the Lynx’s first star player, appearing in 205 games from 1999 to 2005. She is the franchise’s second all-time leading scorer behind Seimone Augustus. In 2001, she averaged 23.1 points per game and scored 46 points against the Los Angeles Sparks in an overtime game. Both are team records. She scored 30 or more points in a game 10 times for the Lynx.
A 5-11 guard out of Ohio State, Smith joined the WNBA after spending three years with the Columbus Quest in the rival American Basketball League. She led the Quest to two ABL titles while scoring 1,433 points. Add those to her WNBA totals and two championships with the Detroit Shock, and Smith retires with more points and championships than any other woman who has played professional basketball in the United States.
Smith was brought to New York this season by coach Bill Laimbeer to provide some veteran leadership.
“She’s an all-time professional,” Laimbeer said.
Retirement will give Smith a chance to reflect on “the sorority that we’ve had of fellow WNBA players, the pride that we took in playing in the States,” she said recently.
“Really, when you look at it, it’s a small, small group in the big scheme.”
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