On Wednesday afternoon, Kenny “The Jet” Smith, one of the co-hosts of TNT’s “Inside The NBA” walked out during the program in a show of solidarity with the NBA players who boycotted their playoff games after the shooting of Jacob Blake here in Wisconsin over the weekend (story HERE).
It was a sobering and powerful moment in what is regularly one of the funniest shows on television. That’s right, if you haven’t seen it before, this basketball show is a genuinely funny on most nights and in addition to Smith, Charles Barkley and Shaquille O’Neal keep the laughs coming with host Ernie Johnson ensuring the program doesn’t fly off of it’s rails. These four gentlemen also have a lot of heart and love the game of basketball.
Which is why Smith walking out was so important.
It takes powerful moments like these to shake people awake. We’re so often busy with our own lives that sometimes it takes an “in your face” moment like this to make a difference.
Smith knows his audience. He knows that when we watch “Inside The NBA” that we’re there to watch Chuck and Shaq diss each other. We’re there for Shaqtin’ a fool. We’re there for the outrageous graphics at the expense of bad player decisions.
Kenny also understood that today wasn’t the time for crazy jokes. It was time for them as a team to make a statement regarding something that effects the players they talk about everyday. And there is a personal connection there as well. These problems didn’t happen overnight. These events occurred in the 90s when these guys played too.
“Inside” really is something I look forward to watching and I can’t wait until we get back to the silly jokes and out of nowhere moments that leave us laughing ourselves into bed.
But Kenny Smith and the team understands what had to be done today and they did it.