Kenny Smith Rumors

Turner Sports says its “Inside the NBA” studio team will call a Christmas night game in Los Angeles along with its other usual duties. Charles Barkley, Shaquille O’Neal, Kenny Smith and Ernie Johnson will be at Staples Center for the Lakers’ game against the Minnesota Timberwolves. They will call the nightcap of the league’s five-game holiday schedule in addition to their regular pregame, halftime and postgame coverage.
Thursday’s “NBA on TNT” broadcast should be interesting. The main event between Lonzo Ball’s Los Angeles Lakers and LeBron James’ Cleveland Cavaliers figures to be a spectacle, but don’t discount the in-studio undercard, which could feature Shaquille O’Neal, Charles Barkley and Kenny Smith hashing out their own issues with LaVar Ball. In Shaq’s case, it’s being denied Big Baller status by the Big Baller Brand CEO. For Chuck, it’s comments he made on ESPN radio questioning whether the Ballfather is, in fact, a “legit father” for “exploiting his kids.” The Jet now finds himself in the fray after turning Barkley’s stance on its ear.
“I don’t know if he’s exploiting them. He’s giving them opportunities they didn’t have, without question,” Kenny Smith told TMZ Sports. “I think that there are multiple routes. He took that route, but he doesn’t know the other route, how it helps you to go to college, not just on a basketball standpoint.” Smith thought it was “a good move” to send LiAngelo and LaMelo Ball to Lithuania, but emphasized that he’s still “a proponent of college.”
NBA TV’s Open Court season preview program saw some of the faces we’ve gotten used to analyzing the NBA in Shaq, Charles Barkley, Kenny Smith and a few other former players including former Rockets’ coach Kevin McHale. When prompted to talk about the arrival of Chris Paul in Houston, he spoke volumes about how great of a move it was partially stemming from the fact that his former player, James Harden isn’t a leader.
Storyline: Harden-Paul Dynamic
Ernie Johnson: In between the third and the fourth segment, Kenny’s just like Charles I dare you to rip those cards in half. This is in a commercial break. Charles is like ‘you really think I should?’ and I said ‘Charles, this is my preparation for the show this is important to me this is my roadmap for where we’re going next. I need this stuff.’ He reaches over and rips it in half. Then we’re like 30 seconds from coming back on the air and he knew I was ticked off. I told him I said, ‘man if you do that again this hot coffee is going all over you.’ Kenny’s like ‘Man, I ain’t ever seen Ernie this hot Charles.’ We come back on the show and I just iced him out. I didn’t talk to Charles that segment. I wasn’t going to ask him a question, I was going to Kenny and Shaq with everything. Charles finally was like ‘hey, hey, hey’ I said ‘look I ain’t talking to you we had something going on here and if you want to take part in the show you won’t do that anymore.’
Spruell’s work has led to the launch of new initiatives aimed at improving officiating, which the NBA will formally announce on Thursday. The league has created an Officiating Advisory Council that will include former NBA player and coach Doug Collins; retired Gen. Martin E. Dempsey, the chairman of USA Basketball and former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff; Arne Duncan, the former U.S. Education Secretary; ex-referee Steve Javie; and Kenny Smith, a TNT analyst and former NBA player. Together, they will help determine the future of NBA officiating.