Monday, February 18, 2008

Kenny Smith talks some trash about Dirk Nowitzki

Is this thing on?

For anyone who missed it, and so far it seems to be everyone (including the 2 people watching the incident with me)... Kenny Smith seems to have an odd criticism of Dirk Nowitzki.

But first, a little background on basketball player-turned-broadcaster Kenny Smith, for those who may be unfamiliar with his work. During his illustrious tenure at perennial powerhouse North Carolina (1983/84-1986/87), the Tar Heels never won an NCAA championship... Never made the Final Four... Never even won the ACC Tournament.

He was drafted by the Sacramento Kings in 1987 and led them to an illustrious 24-58 season. Smith's Globetrotterian dominance of the game allowed the Kings to soar to a dramatically improved 27-55 record in his second year. Kenny was traded midway through the 89/90 season, so you can credit him with half of Sacramento's 23-59 effort and half of Atlanta's 41-41 study in mediocrity (this triumph with a team that had Dominique Wilkins, Kevin Willis, Doc Rivers, Moses Malone, and Spud Webb!)

The Hawks apparently didn't appreciate the hardcourt wizardry of Mr. Kenny Smith, because the next season he was a Houston Rocket.

It was Houston where Kenny drew up the road map to success he still follows to this very day. It's a two phase plan:

Phase 1: Find a talented big man
Phase 2: Latch on like a parasite and bask in the glories he earns

Kenny Smith is the NBA equivalent of the remora. Also known as the Whalesucker or Sharksucker, the remora attaches itself to a larger fish and uses the larger fish for transportation, protection, and (by eating dropped chunks of food or the feces of the host fish) sustenance.

It worked for him with the Rockets, where he won two NBA Championships while cruising in Hakeem Olajuwon's wake. And it works for him now, as he earns ridiculous amounts of money by laughing at Charles Barkley's jokes.

You'd think Kenny would be content to just feed off Barkley's dropped food and feces, laughing at Sir Charles' antics and cashing fat checks.

But no, Kenny Smith occasionally feels compelled to share his thoughts with Charles and Ernie Johnson, too.

For example:

I was sure that by now, someone else would have posted this online somewhere or some local outlet would have mentioned it and there would be much Dallas/Fort Worth outrage. But nobody else seems to have heard Kenny Smith make reference to "a non-rebounding 7 footer" coming out of the commercial immediately preceding Dirk Nowitzki's first round in the 3-Point Shootout.

I suppose Kenny could have been talking about some other 7 footer besides the one about to take the floor in front of him... But I doubt it.

Now, you can say a lot of things about Dirk. You can say that he often disappears for crucial stretches in critical games. You can say that Stephen Jackson shamed him in the 2007 Playoffs, absolutely whipped him like a broken down mule. You can say that he doesn't consistently assert himself in the types of games where true franchise players make their reputation. You can mock his love of Hasselhoff, you can insult his choice of footwear, you can call his post-playoff meltdown MVP award:
(T)he most shameful awards ceremony involving a German since Jesse Owens received his fourth gold medal at the 1936 Summer Olympics.

But you can't call him "a non-rebounding 7 footer".

Because for anyone wondering, Dirk is currently tied for 27th (along with Ben Wallace and Nick Collison) in the league in Rebounds per game. That puts him ahead of Pau Gasol (who Kenny calls "a versatile low-post threat" that makes the Lakers "a favorite to win the Western Conference."), ahead of Shaq, and ahead of 6'11" heroes like Rasheed Wallace, Jermaine O'Neal, and LaMarcus Aldridge.

But hey, why let facts get in the way of an almost entirely off-air joke? And why should being too stupid to listen for a countdown or watch a monitor so he'd know when to stop talking trash diminish the merit of Smith's opinion?

I think Mark Cuban said it best on his blog back during a 2005 dispute with Kenny and Charles:
Kenny wants to be the coach, but wont do the work, so never will be more than a sidekick.
Kenny, I think I speak for all of the TY Sports Team when I say that if you're tired of riding in Barkley's wake, eating his food crumbs and feces... You're welcome to eat ours instead.


alex p keaton said...

Let me first state that I love the TNT studio crew as a whole. Ernie Johnson understands more than his counterpart on any other network that his job is not to be the star. His job is to facilitate and engage the personalities.

Charles Barkley understands that his job is to be funny and opinionated, and he does both well. There's no question he intentionally goes over the top with his opinions to get people riled up, but I also get the feeling that he could care less whether people listen to anything he say.

Then there's Kenny. He kind of reminds me of that guy who hangs out with the cool kids, but nobody ever really understands why. Without him, most of the time it would just be Ernie and Charles, and that wouldn't really work. Kenny is there for Charles to banter with, but I guarantee nobody tunes into TNT to see Kenny, yet he seems to think people care what he says.

As opposed to Charles, Kenny seems to really care about how other people accept him and hs opinions. Charles will throw all kinds of stuff out there - often for the express purpose of pissing people off. He doesn't feel the need to go to great lengths to support his stance, and I kind of respect him for that.

Kenny, however, always seems to be looking for acceptance. He will argue with Charles a little bit, but ultimately he never wants to be left out on an island all by himself. He even sits in the middle of the that Ernie and Charles can protect him if someone assaults the set.

97and03 said...

Kenny said coming out of another commercial break that TY suffered from ED and loannis has warts. But I don't think that just because those two things are true there is any reason to give his Dirk remarks any credence.

I heard this said...

Kenny also said that Robert Horry is metally retared and hangs out at North Texas Basketball games.

dickey simpkins said...

Yes, because referencing Mark Cuban blog posts adds legitimacy to the argument. Kenny may have made a stupid comment, but exactly which TV analyst doesn't make idiotic comments? They get paid huge salaries to prognosticate, make bombastic statements, and overall act like idiots. Cuban loves to get all hot and bothered when people call his team out for something. Well, Marky enjoy having Erick Dampier defend Duncan/Stoudemire/Bynum/Shaq/Boozer/Yao .

Anonymous said...

Kenny has a high BAll IQ- playing for Jack Curran and Dean Smith allows you that....Dirk hasn't won a damn thing.


nt93agle said...

Kenny 'the Jet' Smith is an ASS CLOWN!! and he gave Ernie Johnson cancer!!

omnivore43 said...

The first 2/3 of your post establishes that Kenny Smith wasn't as good of a player as Dirk. We all know this; we are not stupid. This has nothing to do with his analysis. He doesn't have a vendetta against Dirk; he thinks that Dirk has serious holes in his game. 27th in rebounding is nothing to write home about. Ben Wallace is having the worst year of his career and Nick Collison sucks. Concerning Pau Gasol, "versatile low-post threat" is all about offense. A low post game is another one of those big holes in Dirk's game. Also, who thinks Pau Gasol is as good as Dirk? WHO? Dallas will never again get to the Finals with Dirk as their best player, and part of the reason is he isn't a big man. Deal.

Ioannis said...

You must have missed all the mocking of Dirk. I'm no apologist for him.

Although I love that you had to say that Dirk would never lead the Mavs to the Finals... AGAIN. Because he already did it once. He just lost his nuts somewhere after getting there.

And the point of the post is that Kenny Smith is a sacless old spare who talks shit in commercial. And is too dumb to shut up before getting back on the air.

Dirk can't guard Shaq. I never said he could. If Kenny Smith was talking shit about THAT in commercial, I wouldn't have tried to argue the point (just the douchebaggery inherent in where/how he said it).

But don't call him a non-rebounder... Because he's out there getting boards pretty damn well, thanks.

If he thinks rebounding is a serious hole in Dirk's game... I think he's wrong. Considering Dirk spends so much of his game (by design) on the perimeter to create mismatches and/or stretch the opponent's defense in the paint... I'd say that 27th in the league, ahead of all the guys listed (and that's not even referencing how he ranks in Rebounds per 48 minutes) is pretty damn good.

Kenny Smith is a douchebag. He's the broadcasting equivalent of Devean George.


Keep reading. Tina loves you.

Reginald Coxen said...

Kenny has a high BAll IQ- playing for Jack Curran and Dean Smith allows you that....Dirk hasn't won a damn thing.


Using this logic, the Knicks were coached by Larry Brown. The Knicks won nothing, but Larry Brown is a winner. Marbury is the fucking chosen one.


alex p keaton said...

Wow, ioannis. You really touched a nerve with some people (and if the gas station bathroom walls can believed, that's not all you've been touching lately). I didn't realize there was actually any body out there who would defend Kenny...I've surely never met one in person, but they do say the anonymity of the internet brings out the courage in idiots.

Something I didn't know: Kenny Smith is the commissioner of the Premier Basketball League which bills itself as "the finest in professional basketball." I didn't even know that this league existed...apparently Dallas has a team, the Defenders, which plays at the Loos Field House in Addison.

My favorite excerpt from the league's website:

But even though the crowds were sparse (150-200 max, by this reporter’s estimate) for the first-ever home game of the Dallas Defenders, a charter member of the start-up Premier Basketball League, the quality of play was arguably as close to NBA-level as you can get.

Which makes sense considering that many of the players have come close to making it to the big show, but have been denied for one reason or another.

Denied? For one reason or another? How many of these players were denied entrance to the NBA for any reason other than they couldn't hack it?

First of all, I thought the NBA quality was as close to NBA-level as you can get. Second, are we to believe that the Premier Basketball League is closer to NBA-level than the NBADL which features players actually on NBA rosters, as opposed to ones denied "for one reason or another"?

Maybe we can organize a TYSports field trip to Addison for a Dallas Defenders' game. We at TYSportsBlog rarely shy away from covering spare sporting events, so it seems right up our alley.

97and03 said...

You MUST organize a field trip to the Dallas Defenders. Oh the signage that could be created!
Also, I think that TY should interview Kenny about this league.

nikefittedlaker said...

you must really be destperately in love with Dirk's balls for getting that mad over such a small comment kenny made. u mad?