TNT’s “Inside the NBA” analyst Kenny Smith, who won two championships as a guard with the Houston Rockets, walked off the set of the show on-air Wednesday in support for the players who opted to boycott playoff games earlier in the day.
Seated in his usual spot between Ernie Johnson and Charles Barkley, Smith said “As a black man, as a former player, I think it’s best for me to support the players and just not be here tonight.”
And with that, he unhooked his mic and walked off.
Kenny Smith just walked out on NBA on TNT in support of the players’ boycott pic.twitter.com/N4Ix6CPTLG
— Chris Montano (@gswchris) August 26, 2020
Johnson, Barkley and Shaquille O’Neal stayed at the desk as Johnson told Smith, “I respect that.”
The Milwaukee Bucks opted to boycott Game 5 of their series against the Orlando Magic on Wednesday afternoon, due to the despair they feel after Jacob Blake was shot in the back by police in Kenosha, Wisc., on Sunday. Kenosha is located about 40 miles south of Milwaukee.
The Rockets-Thunder and Lakers-Blazers games also were postponed.