Nets’ Dorian Finney-Smith plays in front of his Dad for first time ever

Dorian Finney-Smith has played almost 600 games in the NBA, and countless more before reaching the league.

But none were more emotional than Saturday, the first he ever played live in front of his father.

Elbert Smith, just released from prison in Virginia in December, was finally in the stands to see his son play.


Dorian Finney-Smith, driving to the basket, played in front of his father for the the first time ever in the Nets' 113-103 win over the Pistons.
Dorian Finney-Smith, driving to the basket, played in front of his father for the the first time ever in the Nets’ 113-103 win over the Pistons. Gregory Fisher-USA TODAY Sports

And watching Finney-Smith make a beeline right to his father courtside at Barclays Center for an embrace after the Nets’ 113-103 win over the Pistons told the tale of just how much the moment meant for the Nets forward.

“I had to go over there and show him some love,” Finney-Smith told The Post. “I didn’t shoot the ball how I wanted to but we won, so that’s all that matters.”

Finney-Smith had just two points on 1-for-5 shooting with seven rebounds in 24 minutes. But his father enjoyed every second.

“He didn’t care about none of that. He was just happy. He was smiling the whole game,” Finney-Smith told The Post. “All I saw was his phone. He was recording the whole game. He’s new to the iPhone and still figuring it all out.”

That’s understandable. Smith was released from Greensville Correctional Center in December after 28 years, 9 months and 10 days in prison.

The former Navy veteran had been involved in a fatal incident on Jan. 25, 1995.

When he got out of prison, Finney-Smith made the trip to see him. And now, after months of communicating and working with officials from the Virginia department of corrections, Elbert Smith was finally permitted to travel.

“Just trying to get him here, really, just with the whole [issue], his situation. We had to wait a certain amount of time for him to travel. So just getting here, that was the whole thing,” Finney-Smith said.

After Smith arrived in New York on Friday after the Nets practiced, he was there courtside Saturday night with Finney-Smith’s mother.

He was clad in a black Nets cap, white Nets shirt and ear-to-ear Cheshire Cat grin, filming everything.

“It doesn’t seem real,” Finney-Smith told The Post.


Cam Johnson (left big toe sprain) and Dennis Smith Jr. (right hip synovitis) were out for the Nets, but neither has been ruled out for the season.

Dennis Schroder had 24 points, six assists, five rebounds and logged 35:53, longer than Kevin Ollie had planned on using him.

The interim coach said he will “give [Schroder] a break” Sunday on the tail end of the back-to-back against the visiting Kings.

Noah Clowney had 17 points, six rebounds and four blocks off the bench.

He’s just the second teenager in Nets history with four blocks in a game, joining Jarrett Allen.


Mikal Bridges has 212 3-pointers on the season, moving him into third place in Nets single season history in 3-pointers made behind D’Angelo Russell (234 in 2018-19) and Patty Mills (227 two years ago).

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