During an episode of “NBA on TNT” in August, host Kenny Smith walked off set in support of protesting NBA players, and co-host Charles Barkley was not pleased.
Former NBA guard Kenny Smith walked off set as a sign of unity with players who refused to play in their playoff game because of the Jacob Blake shooting in Wisconsin.
Smith left just minutes after TNT began a special edition broadcast. TNT had just started coverage of the playoff matchup between the Oklahoma City Thunder and the Houston Rockets. Even though Smith’s actions were seen as a powerful move, co-host Barkley said he was “pissed” about it.
Charles Barkley Not Happy With Co-Host Kenny Smith
During an interview on The Ringer’s podcast “Winging It with Vince Carter” on Monday, Barkley said he thought Smith should have told colleagues what he was going to do in advance.
“I was pissed at Kenny. Because I didn’t think he should’ve walked off,” the former NBA All-Star explained. “He should’ve told us in advance. Because I had just said that it was bogus what the Milwaukee Bucks just did to the Orlando Magic. They didn’t tell them. And then like 30 seconds later, he did the exact same thing.”
“I had no problem with him walking off,” Barkley continued. “He should’ve told us so we could’ve prepared. The show was like, ‘Uh-oh.'”
Barkley mentions that the Bucks’ protest put the other teams in a tricky situation. He says they would have looked bad if they had chosen to play.
Barkley said at the time, “I don’t think we can be shocked” about the NBA players’ deciding to boycott playing in games.
“I think it’s appropriate that the Milwaukee Bucks did it, because it happened in their home state, 40 miles from there,” said Barkley. “And then I think you had to cancel the games tonight, after the Bucks did not play.”
“My question is,” asked Barkley. “What is the game plan after that?”
[H/T FOX News]