HoopsHype Kenny Smith rumors


June 15, 2013 Updates
June 10, 2013 Updates

With the Sacramento Kings continuing their general manager search, a most-unexpected candidate has been revealed: Kenny Smith. The former Kings player and TNT commentator told USA TODAY Sports on Sunday night that he has been in discussions with new owner Vivek Ranadive. Longtime general manager Geoff Petrie has been told that he will not be re-signed after his contract expires later this month, and Smith is clearly hoping to be part of the new regime. "We've been talking; we've been talking," Smith said. "That's all I'm going to say." USA Today Sports

"I've been winning my whole life," Smith said. "I've been blessed to be a winner. So whatever happens, whatever I do, I'm going to win an Emmy next year or I'm going to try to win an NBA championship or I'm going to try to win in cards. I'm a winner. I'm a winner. I've been blessed in my whole life, so I think I have a clear vision." USA Today Sports

Ranadive has been looking to have a two-tier structure of sorts, with a widely known name at the top joining forces with a respected executive in the front office. He is known to have had recent discussion with former Indiana Pacers team president Larry Bird, and fellow candidates Chris Wallace (former Memphis Grizzlies general manager), Travis Schlenk (Golden State Warriors assistant general manager), Mike Dunleavy (longtime coach and executive) and David Morway (former Pacers general manager) have interviewed for the job. The Kings have also received permission to speak with Pete D'Alessandro, the vice president of basketball operations for the Nuggets. USA Today Sports

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QUESTION: What do you make of the Lakers hiring Mike D'Antoni as their head coach? SHAQUILLE O'NEAL: The Lakers said they were built for a championship run immediately, so I think people are upset they didn't make the logical choice in Phil Jackson. But D'Antoni is a fabulous coach. He's going to bring a lot of excitement back. Kobe Bryant is one of the best players of all time. Steve Nash is happy that he's back. He's going to bring a slight element of Showtime back. KENNY SMITH: There were probably five or six candidates that were probably eligible with Phil Jackson leading the way. I'm not totally surprised at it. Mike D'Antoni has been on the Olympic team, has been around great players, coached Kobe and Dwight (Howard) before and has coached Steve Nash before. He's been on the staff. There's a familiarity with those guys. Los Angeles Daily News

QUESTION: How does D'Antoni's offensive system fit with the Lakers? O'NEAL: It's going to be good for Dwight (Howard). He's a great pick and roll big man. D'Antoni is an offensive wizard so he's going to keep everyone involved. He's the type that he's not going to yell at you for taking a shot. He just wants you to run hard and play hard. They're going to play with a lot of freedom out there. SMITH: If you played 15 minutes in your older system, you'd only have three or four shots. His system, if you play 15 minutes, you'll get nine shots. Your offensive output doesn't become an issue in not getting enough touches or the ball not going in enough places. He eliminates that by the style of play. Los Angeles Daily News

QUESTION: How fair is the criticism surrounding the defense in D'Antoni's system? O'NEAL: I don't think it's fair criticism. I won three in a row with Phil. We never worked on defense, as when I played for the great Pat Riley. Phil gave us the ability to figure it out. Our defense always started from guys on our team that wanted to play defense. Championship teams win because of team defense, not because of one guy shutting down your guy. SMITH: Because you're in transition, it's more difficult to play defense. The same way you want to get teams in 2-on-1 and 3-on-2 situations, you're in that. It is more difficult to play defense in that regard. But the fact is they have Gasol, Howard and Metta World Peace, who are three really good defenders. I don't think D'Antoni has had three defensive guys like that ever. You have shot blockers. That's the difference. Los Angeles Daily News

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There is definitely a case that can be made for Chris Bosh at forward over Anthony, and it’s a case that Kenny Smith, Chris Webber and even Charles Barkley all made on the show. O’Neal, of course, would have none of it. “Carmelo is doing more than Bosh,” O’Neal said. “There you go again,” Barkley said. There you go, Charles Barkley, voice of reason. Shaq further justified his preference by arguing that Bosh is only what he’s doing because the Big 2 takes pressure off him. Um, wait. Aren’t Bosh’s numbers much better this season without Wade? And wasn’t the previous criticism of Bosh his stat-padding on a mediocre Toronto team? So now the problem is that he’s producing slightly lesser — more efficient numbers — on a contender? Palm Beach Post

January 28, 2012 Updates

Shaquille O'Neal's first few outings on TNT's "Inside the NBA" have been up and down, to put it charitably. Still, he's starting to develop relationships with the rest of the studio team, including Charles Barkley. For the most part, that means Shaq says something questionable, Barkley undermines him, and Ernie Johnson or Kenny Smith tells a stupid joke to defuse tension. It's TV at its best. Last week, Shaq and Chuck got to talking about the top power forwards in the NBA; the former repped Blake Griffin, while the latter sang the praises of Kevin Love. The discussion got mildly contentious, and eventually Shaq proposed a bet that the supporter of whichever player did worse during their game last Friday would have to go pantsless on the "Inside the NBA" set. Presumably at an hour when children would be asleep. Yahoo! Sports

January 27, 2012 Updates

The Wizards have plummeted considerably since then, and so has Barkley’s opinion of the franchise — which he shared on Thursday night during “Inside the NBA” on TNT. Analysts Barkley, Kenny Smith and Shaquille O’Neal were asked to describe their surprises and disappointments through the first month of the season and Barkley and O’Neal both singled out the 3-15 Wizards. Barkley started his comments by mentioning that the quality of play has been poor because of the lockout and added, “There are some bad basketball teams in the NBA.” “Name three,” Smith said. Washington Post

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