SMB is a fairly stupid protocol, but then so is NFS1. I have decades-old paper copies of the specs for both2, so it's not like my opinion is completely uninformed.
There have been some better file-sharing protocols. The Andrew File System was superior, in my book. And there have been worse ones, like AppleTalk. I don't remember enough about IPX and Novell's file-sharing protocol3, or VMS clustering, or any of the others I've seen over the years to say. I don't think any of them was an unalloyed wonder, though.
In general, blaming a protocol for how it's used just displays your ability to commit category errors.
1NFS has gotten better over the years, but in the process it's also gotten rather stovepiped.
1Technically, in the case of SMB, what I have is Microsoft Networks: SMB File Sharing Protocol, version 6.0p, published by Microsoft in 1996. As noted above, this is not the complete specification for SMB; for full interoperability with Windows the Samba team had to reverse-engineer a lot of proprietary additions. But it's the core, and at 99 pages a pretty significant chunk in itself.
3Which is kind of ironic, since I work for the company that now owns Novell.