He was selected by the Atlanta Hawks with the 17th overall pick in the 2004 NBA Draft. He played his Senior year of high school basketball at Oak Hill Academy in Mouth of Wilson, Virginia and decided to forgo a college career at Indiana and jumped straight to the pros.
Smith won the NBA Slam Dunk Contest his rookie year during the 2005 NBA All-Star Weekend. He averaged 9.7 points, 6.2 rebounds and 1.95 blocks per game for the 2004-2005 season and was selected to the NBA All-Rookie Second Team. For the 2005-2006 season, Smith has averaged 2.25 blocks per game, which is seventh in the NBA. Josh Smith is known for his awesome dunks, extremely athletic, and his shot blocking skills.
In what was hyped to be an electrifying defense of his Slam Dunk title, on February 18th 2006, after a lackluster effort, he came last, scoring just a 41 on his first attempt, where he placed a piece of tape several feet behind the free throw line. It was thought that he would attempt a dunk from that spot, and therefore it was insanely hyped, but Smith caused a stir when he instead took off from the free throw line. Nate Robinson would go on to win the competition in a controversial tie-breaker round with Andre Iguodala.
He is nicknamed J. Smooth.