A 6"8" forward/center from Alcorn State University, Smith spent 13 seasons (1980–1993) in the National Basketball Association (National Basketball Association), playing for the Golden State Warriors, Houston Rockets, and San Antonio Spurs. Smith received National Basketball Association All-Rookie Team Honors in 1981, and would become one of the best rebounders of the 1980s. He had career averages of 9.2 rebounds and 25.9 minutes per game.
He worked as an assistant coach for Rudy Tomjanovich with the Rockets from 1993 until 2002, helping them capture their back-to-back National Basketball Association titles in 1993-1994 and 1994-1995.
After ten years with the Rockets, Smith was hired as the assistant coach for the Atlanta Hawks in 2003. In 2004, he was hired by the Los Angeles Lakers to be the assistant coach for Tomjanovich.
However, Tomjanovich resigned after 41 games into the 2004-2005 season. Smith remained as an assistant coach for interim head coach Frank Hamblen until the end of the season.
After serving as an assistant coach of the Albuquerque Thunderbirds, as the head coach of the Anaheim Arsenal, and as an assistant coach for the Austin Toros in the National Basketball Association Doctorate-League, Smith was hired to be an assistant coach for the Los Angeles Sparks of the Women"s National Basketball Association (Women's National Basketball Association) for the 2008 season.
On May 8, 2008, officials made the announcement during a news conference in Vicksburg, Mississippi that Smith has been named as the head basketball coach for Alcorn State University. In 2011, Smith was moved from this position to become director of athletic development for the school.