Kenny Smith Rumors
The network announced that its hit ‘Inside the NBA on TNT’ lineup of Shaquille O’Neal, Charles Barkley, Ernie Johnson and Kenny Smith will be on the air for a long time thanks to “multi-year” extensions for the group. “We truly believe Inside the NBA is among the best studio shows of all time and a large part of its success is due to the unrivaled chemistry between Ernie, Charles, Kenny and Shaquille,” said Lenny Daniels, president of Turner Sports in a statement. “We’re looking forward to continuing the creativity and pioneering spirit behind the show for a very long time.”
Charles Barkley won’t be gone fishin’ just yet. After previously suggesting he might leave TNT at the end of his current contract, the Hall of Famer has agreed to a multiyear extension to remain as a studio analyst for “Inside the NBA.” The network announced Wednesday that all of the show’s stars had received new deals, so Barkley will keep trading barbs with fellow commentators Kenny Smith and Shaquille O’Neal and host Ernie Johnson.
Shaquille O’Neal took quite a tumble during the “NBA on TNT” halftime show of the Clippers-Rockets game on Wednesday night. O’Neal appeared to get his foot caught in wires and crashed off the raised platform onto the floor of the set. He lost his shoe in the process and his 7-foot-plus, 325-pound frame was on the deck for a time. His fellow broadcasters on the set couldn’t hold back their laughter, especially Kenny Smith.
Ernie Johnson sure is a class act. On Tuesday night at the Sports Emmys, the TNT host gave his award for ‘Best Studio Host’ to the daughters of late ESPN anchor Stuart Scott, who lost his battle with cancer in January. TNT’s Johnson knows a thing or two about fighting cancer. In 2006, he took a leave of absence during his battle with Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. He later returned as host of the Emmy-winning show “NBA on TNT” opposite Charles Barkley and Kenny Smith.
The crew from Inside the NBA — Charles Barkley, Kenny Smith and Shaquille O’Neal — didn’t hold back with their thoughts. Barkley said during the postgame show a minimum of five games would be warranted, but believes the league should consider 10. O’Neal and Smith both said five was the proper number. “What Kendrick Perkins and J.R. Smith did was bush league,” Barkley said. “You can’t just go around hitting people in the face. It was like watching a boxing match. Your knee doesn’t collapse like that.”
SLAM: What are some recent ones you’ve seen that you liked? CB: Um, I enjoyed Selma, that was a really emotional movie. I liked The Judge. I’m trying to get Kenny to come see Fifty Shades of Grey with me. KS: I’ll go to Fifty Shades of Grey if you come see a Broadway play with me. A matinée. I’m trying to get him to go with me.
SLAM: When you’re sitting here, how are you watching the games? What are the things you’re looking at or for? CB: That’s a good question. I’m watching the style of play, looking at matchups, you guys talk a lot about analytical bullshit—this game’s all about matchups. Here I’m looking at the Cleveland Cavaliers shooting way too many jump shots, and they’re playing at too slow a pace. And that’s why I think Chicago can beat them in a seven-game series.
SLAM: All good. We were talking about how analytics, that extra stuff, won’t trump talent but can be the difference when two teams with similar talent levels meet. CB: We never talked about analytics in the ’80s, ’90s and early 2000s. It’s something they just came up with. Kenny Smith: I have to add something too, because you asked me the same question. I’ll really believe in analytics if you trade Danny Green for Chris Bosh and win a championship. When you show me that a guy that’s not obviously better than another guy makes a team better than the other guy would have. When someone says, You know, Bosh is not going to help us win but Danny Green will and we know that because of analytics. When that happens then I’ll be like, This stuff works.
Many have decried the former players’ stance, including Barkley’s “Inside The NBA” co-host Kenny Smith. The two even had a frank on-air discussion about it. Despite the backlash, Barkley has not backed down from his position, and neither did Malone on Wednesday. “Stop using the excuse about race,” Malone said. “I am sick and tired that every time you turn around, that’s what we dangle … Our problem now is we do so much talking and beating things to death. Let’s take ownership in ourselves … stop waiting for someone to come in and march for us.”
Kenny Smith shoved his Inside the NBA co-host Shaquille O’Neal into a Christmas tree during halftime of Thursday night’s holiday broadcast. My only observation or “insight” here is that it’s incredible the tree stayed upright. Shaq is a big guy and the tree appeared to be on wheels, yet it still didn’t topple all the way over. Clark Griswold would be proud.
Ramona Shelburne: Have heard Kings want give Ty Corbin a chance this season. But also some interesting names like Mully & Kenny Smith floating around.
Former NBA star Kenny Smith and his family will appear on a reality show on TBS in the spring. The 49-year-old Smith is a basketball analyst for Turner, TBS’s parent company. The network said Tuesday it had ordered six episodes of “The Smiths.” The show will follow Smith, his wife and five children between the ages of 2 and 20.
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He’s averaging 21.7 points per game and shooting .492 from the field and .412 from 3-point range. He’s also is second in the league in free throw percentage at .910. He’s on the watch list for a possible 50-40-90 season — shooting 50 percent from the field, 40 percent from 3-point land and 90 percent from the free throw line, a rare accomplishment. One of Barkley’s sidekicks does acknowledge he wasn’t expecting this sort of season out of the best European player ever in the NBA. “I’m still surprised he has some of the explosive games that he has,” said TNT analyst Kenny Smith. “Even if he’s not getting 30 or 40 points as often, it’s those 12-point bursts that he gets that help win games. “He did surprise me with this level of play, for sure.”
Barkley, now an “NBA on TNT” analyst, ripped Drummond’s Pistons during a break in action. “He’s a terrific player who’s playing with those other idiots up in Detroit. And they’re not going to win,” Barkley said. When the rest of the “NBA on TNT” panel, including Ernie Johnson and Kenny Smith, questioned that statement, Barkley continued: “They’ve got some idiots on that team. They’ve got some talented players who are not going to ever get it.”
Alex Kennedy: I’m hearing that Kenny Smith may be a candidate for the Cleveland Cavaliers’ general manager job. David Griffin is the interim GM.
The NBA is back on SiriusXM! SiriusXM NBA Radio launches Monday, Dec. 9, on SiriusXM channel 217. Hosts on the channel will include former players and coaches, and the best analysts and play-by-play voices in the business, including Steve Kerr, Kenny Smith, Nancy Lieberman, Stacey King, Lionel Hollins, Mike Dunleavy Sr. and Sam Mitchell.
TNT is taking its NBA pregame studio show to New York for the opening night of the season, part of a three-day celebration. Charles Barkley, Shaquille O’Neal, Kenny Smith and Ernie Johnson will broadcast live Oct. 29 from Flatiron Plaza, where there will be a basketball court, NBA 2K14 video game kiosks, and a large videoboard perched 30 feet above Broadway and Fifth Avenue for fans to watch the show, which will include live coverage of the Miami Heat’s championship ring ceremony.
The mayor’s been called a hero for keeping the Kings, but Graswich says NBA Commissioner David Stern is the real Sacramento savior. “It’s David Stern driving this thing. Kevin is the loyal soldier,” he said. Stern saw the Sacramento Kings as his project. The team moved from Kansas City a year before he became commissioner.
A new book shows the inside story of how Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson kept the Sacramento Kings in town. The book, is by the former special assistant to Johnson, who says the mayor cared about the Sacramento economy, not the team. “Kevin Johnson hates the Kings,” said author R.E. Graswich. “He still holds a grudge from 1987 when they drafted Kenny Smith one spot ahead of Kevin Johnson.”
Ranadive has been hoping to add a consultant as well, but it remains unclear what his next step will be. In recent days, it appeared he had honed in on Memphis Grizzlies general manager Chris Wallace, San Antonio assistant general manager Scott Layden and former Indiana Pacers general manager David Morway, but it does not appear that they will be considered for the consultant role. The Kings interviewed a host of others as well, including TNT analyst and former Kings player Kenny Smith.
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.
“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.”
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.”
Steve Kyler: Yannis (@Yannis Koutroupis) and I agree… were more people at the Kenny Smith party last night than Rookie Sophomore game. Maybe Sat will be better
Here are some reactions from national media on the Westbrook incident: TNT analyst Kenny Smith: “The (team) chemistry is fragile. I hate to walk around the locker room on eggshells when a guy does something like this. Now you can’t act natural around this guy for a couple days, and that really messes your team’s morale up.” TNT analyst Shaquille O’Neal: “Westbrook is one of the leaders of the team. In order to be a great leader, you have to be a great listener. He messed up. … He’s wrong. He knows he’s wrong. You move on.”