Posts Tagged ‘Kenny Smith’

Where the Tonight Show meets multiple sets of Big Threes

December 18, 2008

Let’s play a quick game of Classic Concentration.

What do you end up with when add together …

The Tohight Show

Karnac the Magnificent

                                                           +
Steve, Chevy & Martin

Steve, Chevy & Martin

                                                           +
Where Amazing Happens

Where Amazing Happens

                                                          =
                                                         ???
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Hilarity & Hoops all wrapped up into one. 🙂

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Courtesy of BDL

One-on-One: Ernie johnson talks TV, being press secretary

Ernie Johnson is hilarious. It may not come across that way all the time on “Inside the NBA,” but when you sit down and talk to him, it’s easy to see why he has become one of the most popular broadcasters on television. Johnson has a wicked sense of humor and doesn’t take himself too seriously, which are both reasons why the show continues to have success.

This is the final Q and A in a series of interviews I conducted with the show’s personalities (Charles Barkley, Kenny Smith) during my behind the scenes look at the “Inside” set in Atlanta.

Ball Don’t Lie: TNT says that basketball’s biggest night is on Thursday. How can basketball’s biggest night only have two games?

Ernie Johnson: Well, sometimes it’s three. (Laughs) Because it’s exclusive, that’s why it’s the biggest. It may appear to be a misnomer … but no, it’s basketball’s biggest night because it’s the only night that has Charles and Kenny.

BDL: Do you think there is any part of “Inside the NBA” that could be better?

EJ: (Pauses) So, you’re asking what would I change about the show?

BDL: Yeah.

EJ: Nothing. I really wouldn’t. I’m older than these other guys, so I grew up watching Carson, they’re totally different shows, but one of the great things I liked about Johnny Carson when I was growing up was the fact that while he was funny, he was really great when some of his stuff wasn’t funny, or the jokes didn’t go over, and he played it off so well, he wasn’t afraid to [say], “We’ll take a shot at this and see what happens.”

And I think that’s kind of [the same attitude] with Tim Kiely the [Inside] producer and all of us. It’s like, “Yeah, we’ll try something.” And if it’s not funny, fine, but we’re not just gonna sit there and do a cookie-cutter show, that you know what’s coming if you watch it once, you say, “I know what’s gonna happen next Thursday, this is the way they do things.” You never know …

BDL: You never know what’s going to happen around here.

EJ: No, and that’s the beauty of the show. A lot of times even when something doesn’t work it’s like, “That was bad, that didn’t work at all,” but it was funny because we didn’t play it off seriously like, “Oh, well that wasn’t funny, we’re sorry. Is it funny that we weren’t funny … yeah. Not everything has to be hit out of the park; it’s just great sometimes the guys react.

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Bar none … this corner’s favourite show on television today:

Ernie, Kenny & Charles

Ernie, Kenny & Charles

by a country mile.

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“What he really meant … “ 🙂

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For Everything Else there’s Mastercard!

This is a special team

May 30, 2008

The defending NBA champions were dethroned last night by the Los Angeles Lakers, who were tabbed by this corner on Dec 25/07 as the “Sleeper Pick” to win the title this season.

In turn, earlier this morning, the following is what yours truly wrote on another blog, 20 second time-out … which, btw, is highly recommended reading for those in search of insight into how the NBA game actually works …

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On December 25, 2007 I identified this year’s Lakers team as my “Sleeper Pick” to WIN THE NBA CHAMPIONSHIP THIS SEASON, when LA was still in arears of Phoenix in the Pacific Division of the Western Conference and BEFORE they acquired Pau Gasol … THAT’S HOW GOOD I knew these Lakers were this season.

The only team in the West that could have beaten them this year was the Spurs, if San Antonio was completely healthy, which was clearly not the case given the injury to Manu Ginobili (their most dynamic scorer).

Whichever one of Boston or Detroit comes out of the Eastern Conference is going to have its hands full with this Lakers team in the NBA Finals as, right now, this squad is very, very good.

However, of even more interest to me (and, possibly, other astute NBA historians), at the moment, is where their team is going to go NEXT SEASON … when they fully re-integrate ANDREW BYNUM + TREVOR ARIZA into their line-up.

From my perspective, others would do well to carve in stone the forecast I made earlier this spring [’08] that says,

“The 2008-2009 LA LAKERS WILL WIN 70+ games enroute to capturing another of what will eventually be several more NBA championships … if their team remains relatively injury-free.”

What Phil Jackson & Co. have constructed in LA, right now, is a team that will one day go down in NBA history beside the Chicago Bulls (of Michael Jordan) and the old Boston Celtics (of Bill Russell) as arguably the greatest of all-time.

One of the differences between me and other NBA observers is that frequently I can tell you in advance what is going to happen, with a high degree of accuracy, before it does NOT just after-the-fact.

Enjoy the moment for what it is …

Life is fast and things happen quickly.” – Derek Fisher

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May 19, 2008 … Charles Barkley actually had it right, but was just afraid to step that far out on a limb, in advance, vs Chris Webber & Co.

Fortunately, this corner has no such trepidation.

As was said earlier this week, in this space … it will take a special team to eliminate this group of San Antonio Spurs from the title hunt.

This Lakers’ squad is now that team.

Kudos to Air Force One, the Big Fundamental, TP, GINOBILI!, etc. … the better team won this Western Conference Final (watch ’til the end of the vid-clip).

Now … just as it was told to you, in advance, earlier this season, on Feb 9, 2008, what would eventually happen in the Pacific Division and the Western Conference …

And so It Begins, again … as Phil Jackson now heads toward what will eventually be his (legendary) 10th NBA Championship, as an NBA head coach.

The King is dead. Long live the King.

1 & 1A in the NBA’s Western Conference

May 29, 2008

Four months ago, on December 25, 2007, this corner correctly identified for you the best 2 teams in the Western Conference this year, before either had yet amassed the top W-L record in their half of the NBA.

Legitimate Contenders in the NBA: Part II

The reigning champs will try to stave off elimination tonight, as the soon-to-be DOMINANT power in the West seeks to close-out its opponent at home. 

Given that the NBA’s Head Office has now acknowledged a two-shot foul SHOULD have been called on this decisive play at the end of Game 4 …

it would not surprise in the least to see the Spurs … either:

1) Go down fighting like champions, in a last possession game, this evening,

OR

2) Push this series back to San Antonio for a Game 6.

It’s going to take a special team to dethrone this group of Spurs …

and these Lakers (even without Andrew Bynum) just might be THAT team.

Gone fishin

May 15, 2008

Few spots that air on television today are the source of straight-up, belly-centered, roll-your-rear-end-on-the-grass chuckles, as the nightly (40 games in 40 nights) routines produced consistently by Ernie, Kenny & Charles

Courtesy of J.E. Skeets, Ball Don’t Lie

who seem to enjoy themselves as much as any 3 (mostly grown?) men in America doing what it is they do for a livelihood.

Q1. Which is what exactly?

A1. Breaking down the goings-on in the NBA … and making us laugh silly.

What Makes a Great NBA Player?

May 13, 2008

Not sure when this specific segment first aired live … but, so far, this is the 1 video clip that every aspiring anybody … in any field of endeavour, anywhere in this world … absolutely NEEDS to watch, in order to maximize their ability to succeed in Life, in a gargantuan way …

Charles, Kenny, Earvin “Magic” Johnson … see, that’s why you log-on to NBA.com … for that kind of stuff.” – Ernie Johnson

THE ANSWER … and mandatory viewing … for those few who aspire to greatness.

Where the Rockets go from here

March 14, 2008

A 20-game winning streak … which equals the 2nd longest in NBA history … has propelled the Houston Rockets to the upper echelon of different Power Rankings compiled by NBA experts …

2007-2008 Holinger Power Rankings
FoxSports NBA Power Rankings
Yahoo! Sports NBA Weekly Power Rankings

And, yet … there are still divergent opinions about Houston’s long term prospects for

i) making the playoffs this season (in the ultra difficult Western Conference);
ii) going beyond the 1st Round of the Playoffs; and, eventually,
iii) winning a 3rd NBA championship.

Rocket’s Moneyball approach paying dividends (Mar. 13)

Kenny Smith – the Rocket’s prospects without Yao (Mar. 6)

Q1. What’s ahead for the Rocket’s version of NBA Moneyball?

A1. The current edition of the Rockets are built to (i) withstand a season-ending injury to their dominating #1 Center, (ii) win their fair share of regular season games, and (iii) even put together an historic 21-game winning streak … but, unfortunately, just like the principles of “MoneyBall” tend to run out of steam, annually, in the MLB post-season tournament … so, too, will such a fate befall an outfit in the NBA that adheres to this ‘statistical-based’ methodology for constructing its team with designs on ‘going the distance’ in June.

As Moses Malone first alluded to, 25 years ago … it (only) takes, “4, 4, 4 and (today) 4” wins to capture the NBA championship … and, MoneyBall-based teams, not built along these lines to begin with, are simply not equipped to get the job done right in this type of “quadruple 7-game series” environment.

NBA championships are won by teams that can …

I) Rebound, Defend and play efficient Offensive basketball, in a balanced way; with,

II) either 2 or 3 super ‘star’ players who can both (a) create and (b) take advantage of the different mis-match situations that exist on the floor, due to their unique and complimentary skill sets.

Without Yao, this no longer applies to the Houston Rockets.

Just watch & see.

NBA wisdom from TV’s talking heads

March 6, 2008

Interesting quotes from this evening’s TNT broadcast:

(during Game 1, Cle @ Chi) 

“Cleveland is in trouble.”
Sir Charles (Barkley) … during ‘At the Half’, with the Cavaliers up by 4 pts (Cle 51, Chi 47) and Lebron having already scored 26 pts.

“It ends tonight.”
Charles Barkley … during ‘At the Half’ of Game 1 (Cle @ Chi), re: the Houston Rockets’ team record 16-game winning streak.

“He’s never been a Champion … but he’s always been a Winner.”
Doug Collins … re: Joe Smith, early in the 4th Quarter of Cleveland’s eventual loss at Chicago.

“The game in the NBA … is a game of match-ups.”
Doug Collins … explaining in simple, succinct terms what’s ‘at the Heart’ of understanding how it works in the world’s best ‘pro’ hoops league.

UPDATE:

(following Game 2, Hou @ Dal)

“Sam understands that you can’t compete with your teammate. You can only bolster him and push him.”
Kenny (the Jet) Smith … explaing some of what he shared with Sam-I-Am-Cassell, ‘lo those many moons ago’ with the Champion Houston Rockets

“He might not win the game … but, he won’t lose it for you …”
Kenny Smith … extolling some of Cassell’s value to the Boston Celtics.v.2008