Former Houston Rocket Kenny Smith walks off TNT set to support players

Kenny Smith (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
Kenny Smith (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images) /

In an act of solidarity with the NBA players deciding not to play Wednesday, former Houston Rockets guard Kenny Smith walked off the sent of Inside the NBA.

The NBA has been united in their efforts to impact change in the country every step of the way, and that was evident Wednesday. After the Milwaukee Bucks decided to sit out of their Game 5 matchup, the rest of the scheduled teams followed suit, sparking a movement that’s transcending the league. During Inside the NBA, former champion and Houston Rockets guard Kenny Smith joined the movement on live television.

“Right now, my head is ready to explode with the thoughts of what’s going on,” said Smith. “I haven’t talked to any of the players. Hearing calls and people talking. And for me, as a black man and former player, I think it’s best for me to support the players and just not be here tonight.”

As he made his statement, Smith began removing his microphone and broadcast equipment before walking off the set.

.@TheJetOnTNT stands with the NBA players.

— NBA on TNT (@NBAonTNT) August 26, 2020

The NBA has been at the forefront of social issues for years, but they’ve never had a bigger platform than they have on the Orlando campus. The year has been unprecedented in several ways, and the NBA was among the first to adapt to the conditions of the global pandemic to be able to remain in the spotlight.

After the events in Kenosha, Wisconsin, in which police shot another unarmed black man, the NBA is now putting their words in action.

National news channels are taking notice and interviewing players and others affiliated with the league. The MLB is also joining in, with the Milwaukee Brewers announcing they’d also not be playing their scheduled game on Wednesday.

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However they’re able to get attention, the NBA players are doing that, no matter what the sacrifice may be. As the story continues to develop, these acts from the NBA and its current and former players are likely only the beginning in a movement that will continue until real change is made.