Home SPORT Kenny Smith Explains Controversial Steph Curry-Sabrina Ionescu Comments

Kenny Smith Explains Controversial Steph Curry-Sabrina Ionescu Comments



1. Let me start with some full disclosure.

You couldn’t pay me to watch any of NBA All-Star Weekend. Whether it’s the Rookie Game, the Dunk Contest, the 3-Point Contest or the All-Star Game, there is absolutely no scenario in which I’d watch one second of any of these events. They’re all fake. They’re all nonsense and they’re all meaningless.

So I did not hear Kenny Smith’s comments about the 3-Point Contest between Steph Curry and Sabrina Ionescu live and I didn’t listen to them until this morning. I saw that the Twitter mob was after him fast and furious whenever I opened the app this past weekend, but I didn’t care enough to find out what happened.

Plus, from a common sense standpoint, I found it very hard to believe that Smith, who has been an analyst for two decades, would get the assignment to call a shooting contest between a man and a woman and then unleash a sexist tirade on national television.

But then this morning, I saw that Smith was on the Stephen A. Smith Show and I wanted to see if he’d cave in to the social media backlash and do the fake apology or if he’d stand his ground. So I listened to what Kenny Smith said on the broadcast and then I listened to him explains his comments to Stephen A.

The comment about Ionescu that made Kenny Smith Public Enemy No. 1 on Twitter was: “She should have shot from the women’s line. That would have been a fair contest.”

Smith also added, “She should have shot from the line. There is a women’s tee in golf and there is a men’s tee for a reason.”

Obviously, it wasn’t a surprise that these remarks would ruffle some feathers because one could imply that Smith was saying women can’t shoot from the same distance as men.

However, according to Smith, that’s not what he meant.

“I think it’s much ado about nothing, honestly,” Kenny Smith said to Stephen A. about the controversy. “Most people who know basketball understood what I was talking about. Actually, I was advocating for her, more than anything else, because basketball is muscle memory. So, he practices from one range, she practices from another.

“There’s even a study I think with somebody throwing darts. And if you move him out even one step, his accuracy changes dramatically. But the funny thing about it is if you move him in one step, his accuracy changes because you take so many shots from the exact same [spot].

“So I’m like, ‘Why is [Curry] getting the advantage, to shoot at his line? That’s an advantages. It’s not gender, it’s not genetics. Shooting is only muscle memory.”

That explanation seems perfectly logical and makes sense. For Smith’s sake, it would’ve been nice if he had said that during the live broadcast because it would’ve maybe eased some of the backlash. All he had to do was mention “muscle memory” and his point would’ve been made to most people. It wouldn’t have been made to all people because a lot of folks just want to be outraged no matter what. 

But the bottom line here is that Smith’s only misstep was not being more clear about the point he was trying to make.

2. The other storyline to come out of NBA All-Star Weekend was everyone completely flipping out about how horrible the All-Star Game was on Sunday.

Well, the game averaged 5.5 million viewers and was up 20% from last year’s All-Star Game.

3. Sports fans have been doing this rant for years. Now it’s being done by ESPN lead NBA analyst, JJ Redick. 

4. A very important lesson for all broadcasters: When saying the word “bench” make sure you annunciate very clearly or this will happen.

5. This happened in late January, but it’s going viral now.

A seventh-grade student from North Dakota had to make a layup, a free-throw, a three-pointer and a half-court shot in under 25 seconds to win $10,000

What followed was one of the great athletic performances that you’ll ever see.

6. The latest episode of SI Media With Jimmy Traina is an all–Traina Thoughts, post–Super Bowl edition with Sal Licata from WFAN and SNY.

Topics discussed include Tony Romo’s performance calling the Big Game, the massive confusion about the overtime rules, the halftime show, whether the game should start earlier in the day, the awful injury suffered by the San Francisco 49ers’ Dre Greenlaw and whether Kyle Shanahan made the right move by taking the ball in overtime.

Other topics include CBS’s outstanding special You Are Looking Live!, on the history of the NFL Today pregame show; whether betting on a game changes the way you watch sports; the latest episode of Curb Your Enthusiasm; the post–NFL season blues; the best type of pretzel and much more

You can listen to the podcast below or download it on Apple, Spotify and Google.

You can also watch SI Media With Jimmy Traina on Sports Illustrated’s YouTube channel.

7. RANDOM VIDEO OF THE DAY: I can’t recommend the We Are The World documentary on Netflix, The Greatest Night in Pop enough, especially if you grew up in the ’80s. One of the best parts of the show was a nervous and unsure Bob Dylan seeking guidance from Stevie Wonder on how to sing his part like Bob Dylan.

View the original article to see embedded media.

Be sure to catch up on past editions of Traina Thoughts and check out SI Media With Jimmy Traina on Apple, Spotify or Google. You can also follow Jimmy on Twitter, Instagram and TikTok.


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