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Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Kenny Smith: "DVD Extras"

Here are some additional Kenny Smith quotes besides the ones that I included in my HoopsHype.com article about him.

I asked Smith when he first thought of becoming a broadcaster and this is what he told me: "It’s funny because I was doing things to prepare for it without realizing that I was. I used to interview myself in the house after games, joking around with my dad. ‘You’re the son of Kenny Smith, how do you feel today?’ You know, stupid stuff like that. Then, when I was in the league, a couple TV stations told me that I was pretty good at interviews and asked if I would take a camera around the team and ask questions. I only did it to get extra income, more than anything else. It’s a couple extra dollars, it’s money to go out with and I’ll have some fun. Then, all of a sudden, I’m getting better at it, I’m learning how to cut film, I’m learning about time codes and all these things you need to know. I had to cut my own pieces back in those days. We didn’t have producers. You had to shoot the piece, produce it, cut it and give it to the editor."

******

Until Steve Nash, point guards generally did not win MVPs. This is a subject that I have written about here on a few occasions and something that I discussed with Phoenix Coach Mike D'Antoni during my exclusive interview with him. Smith battled many times against John Stockton, Mark Price and Kevin Johnson, three All-Star guards who played on winning teams and were very adept at both shooting and passing but never received serious MVP consideration.

I asked Smith what similarities and differences he sees when comparing those three players with Nash. Smith replied:

"I think that the one similarity that they share is the ability to find people, as I would say, in cracks and corners. Honestly, I think that Steve is an 80s/90s guard—a really good guard in the 80s and 90s had to have the skill set that Steve has. I think that a lot of the guards today don’t have the skill set that you had to have in the 80s and 90s just to make the team. So he stands out so viciously, so to speak, because he has that skill set. The second thing is I call him ‘Jamie Foxx.’ I told him that and I call Jamie Foxx—he lives in L.A. and I run into him and we do some things together—‘Steve Nash.’ Everyone is like, ‘Why do you do that?’ We all knew Jamie Foxx from ‘In Living Color’ and ‘The Jamie Foxx Show’ and all that. Then, all of a sudden, several years into his career he gives us ‘Ray.’ And we’re like, ‘Whoa, this guy’s an Oscar guy. We didn’t know he was that good. We knew he was good but we didn’t know he was that good.’ That’s Steve Nash. We knew that he was good. He made the All-Star team here and there—but we didn’t know that he could be the MVP of the league. I think that is just a testament to a guy who can add things on during his career when everyone else thinks that his career has already been defined. That’s hard to do. I think that’s harder to do than anything else that he has done during his career. I think to jump from being good to really good is easy—but to jump from really good to great is the biggest jump in the world, and he did that jump."

I then asked Smith, "Based on what you said about ‘80s/90s’ guards, would it be fair to say that if Steve Nash had been playing in the 80s and 90s he probably wouldn’t have won an MVP and if you would take a Price, Stockton and KJ and put them in today’s game they would have a better chance to win an MVP now than they did then because they would stand out more in this era than they did at that time?"

Smith answered, "I would agree but you have to put this disclaimer on it: you’re talking about the top 30 guards who ever played the game."

posted by David Friedman @ 3:03 AM

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