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Kenny Smith Rumors

Saturday Night Live brought back their somewhat-recurring NBA on TNT sketch last night. Featuring Kenan Thompson as Charles Barkley, Alex Moffat as Ernie Johnson, and Chris Redd as Kenny Smith, the studio parody also found room (albeit barely, given the size jokes at play) for Bowen Yang as Yao Ming, filling in for Shaq.
The premise focused on the recent rash of disruptions to the NBA, which has forced what are essentially replacement players into action around the league. It was a fairly funny sketch (confession: I’m personally not the world’s biggest SNL fan, but this particular bit is as close to my wheelhouse as it gets, and Thompson and Redd are especially fun in their roles and Moffat got EJ’s cadence right, at least), recapping an imagined Nets-Kings first half that saw the Nets beating up on a roster filled with “fans and arena support staff.”
Kenny Smith once mentioned on “Inside the NBA” on TNT that having played Payton a few times in the postseason, Payton talked as much trash to his own teammates — if not more — as opposed to his opponents. Payton would scream to get him the ball because he couldn’t be guarded by his assignment. He yapped in practice to help drive home the points and the game plans of his coaches. He also did it to motivate himself to perform on a nightly basis. There was a madness to the tornado of words that ravaged the eardrums of those in front of him. “It made you want to get back at him even more,” Hall of Fame forward Chris Mullin once said about Payton, “but ultimately, the real frustration came from how great a player he was. Backing it up, that’s when trash-talking goes to another level. If you trash talk and you can’t back it up, you’re just a clown.”
Kemba Walker getting benched isn’t his problem, it’s his coach’s … so says Kenny “The Jet” Smith, who tells TMZ Sports the guard is a Ferrari and Tom Thibodeau doesn’t know how to drive it. The 31-year-old hooper was removed from the Knicks rotation earlier this week … as he’s been averaging career lows in almost every major category this season. Once backup Alec Burks came in and balled out with 23 points against the Hawks on Saturday, Thibs decided to pull Walker out of the starting lineup AND the rotation altogether.
Charles Barkley says there’s no bad blood with Kenny Smith after their passionate debate over Kyrie Irving’s refusal to get vaccinated … telling TMZ Sports everything’s cool between them. We talked to Chuck outside LAX on Wednesday … and asked the Hall of Famer if he was beefin’ with The Jet after the 2 buddies got into a heated conversation on “Inside The NBA.” “Me and Kenny are great. We’re great,” Barkley said, adding, “We can be different, it’s all good.”