In this weekly series, we revisit players who were once valuable contributors and maybe even well known during their NBA careers, but have since quietly disappeared from the league. The kind of players who make you go “Oh yeah! I remember that guy”.
This week, we will cover Stromile Swift.
The 2000 NBA Draft
The 2000 NBA draft is widely considered one of the worst NBA drafts in history. The 58 players drafted have a total of 3 All-star games between them, from 2000 to present. Lebron James has been to the All-star game 4x more than the entire 2000 draft class combined. Stromile Swift was drafted 2nd overall in 2000 out of LSU and while he was definitely extremely athletic, he never showed much outside of that.
Swift brought in to be the new centerpiece of the Memphis Grizzlies. Unfortunately for him, he never managed to distinguish himself from other Grizzly bigs, and the cornerstone role eventually fell to Marc Gasol. Swift bounced around the Rockets, Grizzlies again, Nets, Suns, 76ers, and China before retiring.
Stromile Swift really excelled at one thing and that was dunking. He put on a good show at the 2001 dunk contest and unsurprisingly, if you look him up on youtube, you’ll only see dunk highlights. Even searching for his highlights in the Chinese Basketball Association, you’ll just find dunks.
Really, that was all Stromile Swift did – dunk. He was a career 7.4% 3PT shooter and 70% FT shooter. Even though most of his shots were dunks, he only shot 47.3% for his career. He was a decent shot blocker, but otherwise just ‘meh’ defensively.
Where he is now
Stromile Swift retired from basketball in 2010, after a 6-month experience in China he called “humbling.”
Over there, it’s totally different. The rumors about the food are true. I toughed it out. I stayed about 6 ½ months but I was getting sick. I lost a lot of weight. It was hard to eat over there. I was scared to eat meat. You could adjust to basketball but the culture and the language was tough.
– Stromile Swift on China
He was arrested in a bizarre incident in 2011 for stalking his ex-girlfriend. Now, he spends most his time with his baby daughter in Shreveport, Louisiana runs a trucking company part-time! Really. It’s called SS Transport (Not S&S Transport, if you googled that). From what I’ve been able to find, it seems like the company is made up of 1 truck and 1 driver. They transport things like lumber and landfill. I can not think of a more normal life.
Stromile Swift. Retired, but not #forgotten.
Check out our last #ForgottenFridays coverage of Leon Powe!