Posts Tagged ‘Kenny Smith’

Hang Time Podcast (Episode 100) Featuring TNT’s Shaq, Kenny and Charles


HANG TIME HEADQUARTERS – The centennial edition of The Hang Time Podcast was bound to be our biggest and best effort to date.

It had to be, given the star-studded guest list headlined by TNT’s Emmy Award-winning crew from The Inside set, masters Shaquille O’Neal, Kenny Smith and the Hall of Famer, Charles Barkley. With an opening assist from the great Ernie Johnson and a visit from the longtime radio voice of the Atlanta Hawks, Steve Holman, who was celebrating his 2,000 consecutive broadcast, we made sure to celebrate 100 right here at headquarters.

Dozens of current and former NBA players, current stars and living legends, have made appearances on the show in the first 100 episodes. We’ve talked to a little bit of everybody, from comedian extraordinaire Charlie Murphy to NBA Commissioner David Stern, Hollywood up-and-comer Genesis Rodriguez to comedic wiz Chelsea Peretti.

About the only guys we hadn’t spoken to yet were Shaq, Kenny and Charles … until now!

Listen in on Episode 100 of the Hang Time Podcast and party with us while we keep it 100!

(Big ups to Vince Thomas of The Shadow League, our former super producer Micah Hart for hatching the podcast with me from the start and the NBA TV and NBA Digital brain trust of Rusty Mintz, Tony Lamb, Steve “The Boss Man” Quintana, John Donovan, Kevin McCormack, Beau Estes our former intern Tori Carmen for helping nurse the show from its infancy into the full-blown ball of hoops chaos that we’ve grown into.)


As always, we welcome your feedback. You can follow the entire crew, including the Hang Time Podcast, co-hosts Sekou Smith of,  Lang Whitaker of SLAM Magazine and Rick Fox of NBA TV, as well as our new super producer Gregg (just like Popovich) Waigand and the best engineer in the business, Jarell “I Heart Peyton Manning” Wall.

– To download the podcast, click here. To subscribe via iTunes, click here, or get the xml feed if you want to subscribe some other, less iTunes-y way.

All-Star Balloting Begins In Houston

— Never mind the standings and the early season problems and the firing of a coach and the controversy over his replacement.

According to the 2013 All-Star Balloting presented by Sprint, Mike D’Antoni should have enough elite talent on his roster to get the Lakers into the Western Conference finals against the Thunder.

The Lakers with Kobe Bryant, Dwight Howard, Pau Gasol, Steve Nash and Metta World Peace and Thunder with Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook, Kendrick Perkins, Serge Ibaka and Kevin Martin each have five players on this season’s ballot, which was unveiled at a tipoff ceremony at the Toyota Center.

The defending NBA champion Heat — LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh, Ray Allen Shane Battier — along with the Celtics and Nets all have five players on the Eastern Conference side of the ballot.

In keeping with league policy, No. 1 overall draft pick Anthony Davis is the only rookie on the ballot.

For the first time ever, NBA fans will be able to vote via social media networks, including Twitter and Facebook, and Sina Weibo and Tencent QQ in China.

The balloting is now open and fans also have other digital methods of voting:

– on

– through SMS voting by texting the player’s last name to 6-9-6-2-2 (MYNBA)

– on NBA Game Time

– on NBA Game Time from Sprint

The All-Star ballot lists 120 players — 60 from each conference — with 36 front-court men apiece. Previously the ballot featured three positions with fans picking two guards, two forwards and a center.

Balloting will conclude on Jan. 14 and starters will be announced on Jan. 17 during a special one-hour show on TNT featuring Ernie Johnson, Charles Barkley, Shaquille O’Neal and Kenny Smith.

The 2013 NBA All-Star Game will be played on Feb. 17 at the Toyota Center in Houston and televised exclusively on TNT.

Now all D’Antoni has to do is pick up his All-Star pieces and glue them back together.

Shaq Stirs It Up On Open Court … Again!

HANG TIME HEADQUARTERS – TNT’s Shaquille O’Neal has a way of making headlines even when he’s not trying to (just drop “Shaq” and “Dwight Howard” into the search window above and see what happens).

Shaq has no greater forum than NBA TV’s Open Court (11 p.m. ET tonight), where he not only has controversial company (Charles Barkley, Kenny Smith, Ernie Johnson and others) but also a host of equally controversial topics to dissect.

They’re going in on the “Dream Team” debate this time, arguing which group of U.S. Olympians ranks as the greatest crew of all time. Leave it up to Shaq to stir it up like this:

Reflections On Reggie’s Big Day

HANG TIME HEADQUARTERS – This day, this moment, belongs to Reggie Miller.

This is his night in the Hall of Fame spotlight. But in addition to family, friends and former teammates, coaches and fans who will all share in his special moment.

That group includes his colleagues at TNT, who shared some of their own thoughts about Miller …

Shaquille O’Neal:

“Reggie will go down as one of the greatest shooters of all time. But you can’t mention Reggie’s name and not think of the legendary comeback against the Knicks.”

Charles Barkley:

“Reggie is a friend of mine and I’m very happy for him. It’s an awesome accomplishment and it’s going to be a wonderful night for him and his sister.”

Ernie Johnson:

“I loved watching Reggie play because for 48 minutes he gave you everything he had, and he possessed all those qualities that encompass being a superstar in this league: worth ethic, court sense, will to win, loyalty, charisma, killer instinct, ability to perform in the clutch … the list goes on and on. Like all the greats, Reggie wanted the ball in his hands with the game hanging in the balance and time and again he would deliver. His night in Springfield is richly deserved, and we’re all richer for having watched such a talent for all those years in the Pacers uniform.”


Shaq: No Interest In Magic GM Job

HANG TIME PLAYOFF HEADQUARTERS – Well, that didn’t take long.

As soon as he was included in the discussion for the vacant general manager job in Orlando, Shaquille O’Neal has taken himself out of the mix.

The future Hall of Famer and TNT analyst released a statement this afternoon denying any interest in pursuing the position that came open with Monday’s mutual parting of the ways between the Magic and Otis Smith.

And this isn’t coming from any back channel sources or anyone else. It’s from the big fella himself, who said he has no plans of leaving the Inside set where has starred this season alongside Kenny Smith, Charles Barkley and Ernie Johnson.

“When I first heard about the vacancy for the Orlando Magic general manager position, I was clearly intrigued.” he said in a statement. “I was drafted by the Magic, I have a great love for the franchise, and I have made the city of Orlando my home.  Additionally, I have great admiration and respect for the DeVos family.  However, this is not a job I have an interest in pursuing.  I feel very fortunate to be with TNT and to have the best job in sports.  I look forward to many more years with Charles, Kenny and E.J.  I wish the best for the Magic and I am confident that they will select a great GM and coach.”

ESPN’s The Magazine’s Chris Broussard reported Wednesday that there was mutual interest between O’Neal and the Magic and that he could interview with them as early as next week. Barkley was on The Dan Patrick Show this morning and confirmed that O’Neal indicated to him that he had interest in the job and would be interviewing with the franchise that drafted him.

But all of that comes crashing down with O’Neal’s statement that he has no plans of giving up his seat on the set at TNT.

Griffin Grumbling Is Too Soon, Off Base

HANG TIME PLAYOFF HEADQUARTERS – Before we let the Clippers slip away into the shadows of teams vanquished on the road to the Larry O’Brien trophy, we have to slather a little praise on the “other” team in Los Angeles for a season full of entertaining basketball, complete with enough Chris Paul and Blake Griffin highlights to last a couple of seasons.

We’d also like to back the critics off of Griffin and his game, which is a whopping 159 games old with this playoff run included. That’s right, Griffin is just two seasons of actual on-court time into his career that has been scrutinized incessantly since he burst onto the scene as dunking machine/pitchman last season.

I saw the Inside crew discussing Griffin’s game (Charles Barkley, Kenny Smith, Shaq and Ernie Johnson go at it above) and felt the instant analysis of his long-term prospects was a bit premature. Shaq and Ernie have it right that it’s far too soon to assume we’ve seen the very best Griffin will have to offer during his career.

(Andrew Bynum‘s been in the league for seven years and people are still talking about him being a young player … and this is supposed to be it for Griffin?)

This was Griffin’s first playoff rodeo folks. Why would anyone assume he’s reached his zenith, that he won’t continue to improve in the coming seasons?


#TeamShaq Rules Rising Stars Draft

HANG TIME HEADQUARTERS – With the 11th hour additions of both Jeremy Lin and Norris Cole, the BBVA Rising Stars Challenge draft got an extra dose of last-minute drama from the game’s honorary commissioner, TNT’s Kenny Smith.

By snagging both of the late additions to go along with No. 1 overall pick Blake Griffin and rookie point guard sensation Ricky Rubio, Shaquille O’Neal nailed his first ever draft (he showed up wearing the “Black Pat Riley” t-shirt) and Team Shaq goes into All-Star Weekend with the clear advantage over Team Chuck (Barkley).

Team Chuck has the sort of balance you strive for when putting together a team for the grind of an 82-game (or 66-game) regular season. But Team Shaq has the star power at guard, point guard especially, that you need to win games like the one we’ll see on All-Star Friday night in Orlando.

That didn’t stop Barkley from talking smack after he passed over Lin for a rookie point guard sensation of his own in Kyrie Irving with his first pick.

“It wasn’t very difficult [to pass on Jeremy Lin] to be honest because [Lin's] only been playing for a week and it’s been a fantastic week,” Barkley said. “But Kyrie Irving is terrific and he’s going to hand it to [Lin] and if Ricky Rubio wants some…he can come get some too.”

You’ve got to ride the hot hand Chuck. And no one in basketball is hotter right now than Lin.

Team Shaq didn’t even get the endorsement of NBA TV’s Dennis Scott, Shaq’s best friend and former Orlando Magic teammate. “As I go through the [rosters], at first I thought Shaq had the upper hand but he has too many point guards,” Scott said. “Shaq has more playmakers but Charles has more finishers…I think Charles may have the upper hand.”

Et tu 3D?

Being the long-range bomber that he was (and remains, to this day) 3D should know better than to bet against the guys who will have control of the ball throughout the game. Team Chuck’s bigs will need someone to get them the ball. All of the best playmakers other than Irving and John Wall will be working for Team Shaq that night.

Mark it down, we’re predicting a big win for Team Shaq that night!

Full rosters & a poll after the jump: (more…)

Get Lin In Rising Stars Challenge Draft!

HANG TIME HEADQUARTERS – TNT analysts Charles Barkley and Shaquille O’Neal have a chance tonight to do what 30 other NBA executives couldn’t, and that’s draft Jeremy Lin.

What more does the Knicks’ sensational point guard have to do to crash the BBVA Rising Stars Challenge draft party tonight? (7 p.m. ET on NBA TV.) All he’s done is spark the Knicks to seven straight wins and author the greatest underdog story in sports most anyone has ever seen.

So what if he wasn’t on the initial list of players considered for the game that will be played Friday night of All-Star Weekend in Orlando, pitting a mix of first and second year players selected by general managers Barkley and O’Neal.

With their TNT colleague Kenny Smith serving as the commissioner of the draft, all it would take is an executive order from him to grant Lin, and perhaps another deserving player who didn’t make the initial cut of 18 draft-eligible players, entrance into the draft pool. That would give us an even 20 and guarantee that Linsanity spreads its wings all the way through All-Star Weekend (the rumblings are he’ll be there anyway, might as well make it official).


All-Star Starters Revealed Tonight

HANG TIME HEADQUARTERS – The polls are closed and the voting is done for the 2012 All-Star Game.

The starters will be announced tonight live on TNT during a special one-hour pregame show at 7 p.m. ET, with Ernie Johnson, Charles Barkley, Shaquille O’Neal and Kenny Smith, followed by the TNT doubleheader featuring the Bulls and Knicks (8 p.m. ET) and Nuggets-Clippers (10:30 p.m.). There will also be a special one-hour pregame show on TNT on Feb. 9 to announce the All-Star reserves.

But it’s a bittersweet time here at the hideout. We woke up this morning and realized that there was yet another casualty of the five-month lockout that abbreviated this season. There were none of the clever All-Star campaign ads (like the one above featuring Timberwolves All-Star Kevin Love or the one below of Grizzlies forward Rudy Gay, both from last season) to entertain us this time around.

The mailbox and inbox here at the hideout are usually overflowing with campaign literature and trinkets touting one player or another, but this year there was nothing.

We’ll get over it, of course. The announcement of the starters tonight and the Eastern and Western Conference reserves next week will certainly help take the pain away.


Kobe And LeBron In The Clutch (Video)

HANG TIME HEADQUARTERS – The seemingly never-ending debate surrounding the late-game prowess of both Kobe Bryant and LeBron James went under Kenny Smith‘s microscope last night on TNT.

It’s as concise an examination (with video assistance) of their late-game strengths and weaknesses, and what it all means their respective teams, as we’ve seen. So we figured we’d share for those that might have missed it:



A little more info on Kobe and LeBron in the clutch, courtesy of my main man and’s John Schuhmann (aka StatMasterFlex):

Thus far this season in clutch time (last five minutes of the fourth quarter or overtime with a score differential of five points or less), Bryant is 8-for-23 (35 percent) from the field, 1-for-4 from 3-point range and 7-for-8 from the line, with five assists and five turnovers. James is 5-for-15 (33 percent) from the field, 0-for-3 from 3-point range and 7-for-12 from the line, with 10 assists and four turnovers.