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TNT’s Kenny Smith says he has talked to Kings about front office job

Jun 10, 2013, 9:45 AM EDT

Kenny Smith Getty Images

Mark Jackson. Doc Rivers. Pat Riley. Guys have made the jump from television broadcaster to successful NBA coach before, but that generally doesn’t make it a good idea.

And the jump from television commenter to front office guy is something else entirely.

But TNT’s Kenny “The Jet” Smith would like to do that with the Sacramento Kings, reports Sam Amick at the USA Today.

The former Kings player and TNT commentator told USA TODAY Sports on Sunday night that he has been in discussions with new owner Vivek Ranadive…

“We’ve been talking; we’ve been talking,” Smith said. “That’s all I’m going to say.”

Ranadive has been looking to hire a two-tiered GM system, reports Amick, similar to what has been done already in Golden State and Indiana. There would be a big, splashy name, and then with him would be a more traditional basketball guy. (You can guess who would do most of the work.)

The Kings have already hired their coach, Mike Malone, the lead assistant to Mark Jackson in Golden State last year.

Smith would make the best GM of any of the guys on the TNT set. Not that there is really stiff competition there. Remember Charles Barkley campaigned for the Suns GM job but they wisely went another direction. The Kings have interviewed Larry Bird, Chris Wallace (recent Memphis Grizzlies GM), Travis Schlenk (Golden State Warriors assistant GM), and David Morway (Pacers GM) for that gig.

Why have two GM’s? Marketing to the fan base? While there is no doubt a guy like Schlenk or Morway could do the job it’s not as exciting to sell to the fans, so they want a name that makes more of a splash.

Smith was drafted by the Kings in 1987 and played a couple years there before bouncing around the NBA in his playing career. He’s been part of the Inside the NBA crew for years.

But now he wants a new challenge. We’ll see if that’s with the Kings.

  1. fanofevilempire - Jun 10, 2013 at 10:09 AM

    How was it computed that Kenny Smith would be a
    better GM then Charles Barley, just wondering because
    they both have no experience being a GM and they currently
    have the same job.
    I do recognize Kenny won two championships but CB is a HOF’er.

    • delmarbriere - Jun 10, 2013 at 1:24 PM

      what an uneducated idiot!!!

  2. jamieaadams - Jun 10, 2013 at 11:03 AM

    Hope he makes the right decision for himself and his family and all, but I do hope he stays at TNT. I’d miss him on that set.

  3. LPad - Jun 10, 2013 at 11:12 AM

    The first sentence makes it sound like Doc, Mark, and Pat have been announcing games for 40 years like Marv Albert. They did play in the NBA. Also, is your statement about a PR GM true or just your opinion. I find it hard to believe that Larry Bird would be interveiwing for a PR GM gig.

  4. vi3tguy415 - Jun 10, 2013 at 12:12 PM

    i have said so many times. this kurt dude is an idiot. quit stating your personal opinion instead of how it should be. Jackson, river, and riley are did or still doing pretty well in the nba. so how is it not a good idea? wth.

  5. pistolpete0903 - Jun 10, 2013 at 12:35 PM

    Kenny…..that’s turrible!!!

  6. ogwhiteissac - Jun 10, 2013 at 12:54 PM

    Kurt – You left out the best quote from Kenny, which completely solidifies his candidacy for the job.

    “I’ve been winning my whole life,” Smith said. “I’ve been blessed to be a winner. So whatever happens, whatever I do, I’m going to win an Emmy next year or I’m going to try to win an NBA championship or I’m going to try to win in cards. I’m a winner. I’m a winner. I’ve been blessed in my whole life, so I think I have a clear vision.” USA Today Sports

    Wow, the Kings would be fools not to hire a such a blessed winner with a clear vision of winning – I think that’s his vision but he never really clarified anything else beyond being a winner, and a blessed winner at that.

    The joke in Sacramento will continue if they hire “The Jet”, two tier system or not. Even the Maloofs think this is a bad idea.

  7. rickyspanish - Jun 10, 2013 at 3:05 PM

    Anything that gets him off my television will be fine.

  8. tcclark - Jun 10, 2013 at 6:28 PM

    Please make this happen. I never liked him, but he went from bad to turrible when he won Nate Robinson a dunk contest that Andre Iguodala easily should’ve won.

    TNT has too many “funny” guys. Let’s get someone on there who knows a little more about basketball. I’d rather listen to Hubie Brown or Doug Collins talk about basketball than Kenny Smith.

  9. sportsnut101 - Jun 11, 2013 at 7:47 AM

    Barkley won an Emmy but their was only 3 choices him shaq or Kenny. Barkley is the worse

    Love how they give ex players jobs with no experience In the real world he’d be unemployed

    I don’t watch pregame or post game They just suck

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