Report: Former Lakers Guard Smush Parker Trying to Become NBA Referee

Brad Sullivan
3 Min Read

The six-year playing career of Smush Parker included two seasons as a member of the Los Angeles Lakers from 2005 to 2007.

After not having played in the NBA since 2008, Parker is attempting to find a different way back to the court by becoming a referee.

Parker was an undrafted free agent out of Fordham University who ended up playing for six different teams during his NBA career. His time at guard with the Lakers began after the Phoenix Suns released him in February 2005, with the Lakers then signing him during the subsequent offseason.

Those two years that Parker spent with the Lakers were the only times in which he was a regular starter in a lineup. He ended up starting all but two of the 164 regular season contests the team played in those campaigns.

In those games, Parker averaged 11.3 points, 3.2 assists, 2.9 rebounds and 1.6 steals per game. During both of those seasons, the Lakers reached the postseason, but were eliminated in the first round by the Suns.

After the end of the 2006-07 season, Parker’s time with the Lakers came to an end when he signed to play with the Miami Heat before closing out the NBA side of his career by playing with the Los Angeles Clippers. He then continued to play the game overseas.

During his Lakers days, Parker had no issues with Kobe Bryant, but that changed in 2009 and sparked a feud between the two players.

“Playing with the Lakers was an overrated experience,” Parker said. “Phil Jackson was great. I don’t care what the media says. They said I had a problem with Phil Jackson, but the problem was never with Phil Jackson. It was with your boy, 24. Formerly known as KB, Kobe Bryant.

“The reason why I say overrated is because everybody thinks that playing with Kobe Bryant is the best thing since sliced bread, when it’s not.”

Bryant eventually addressed the issue three years later, delivering a stinging rebuke to Parker.

“I tell Steve [Nash], you won MVP, but I was playing with Smush Parker,” Bryant said. “He’s playing with [Leandro] Barbosa. I’m playing with Smush and Kwame [Brown]. My goodness. … Smush Parker was the worst. He shouldn’t have been in the NBA, but we were too cheap to pay for a point guard. We let him walk on.”

Bryant retired and has gone on to non-basketball pursuits, which have to led to him winning an Academy Award. Parker’s goals are currently more focused on getting back into basketball. Whether or not he’s able to do it in an official’s uniform is something that’s yet to be decided.

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Brad is a freelance writer for, who can clearly recall watching Lakers games in 1972 as they captured the first of their 11 Los Angeles-based titles. The franchise's evolution into a beloved and iconic franchise among its fan base since that memorable year allows for a wider perspective to be a part of his writing about the team's current fortunes.