Kenny Smith Fails His Own Test
On TNT’s NBA halftime show, Kenny Smith embarked on the rather questionable task of distinguishing between “stars” and “superstars.” The latter players, he argued, always push their teams above .500 — i.e., ensure a winning record. Hence Allen Iverson and Jason Kidd join household names like Shaq and Kobe.
One problem: the Sixers and the Nets, who are led by Iverson and Kidd, are below .500. Indeed, New Jersey is holding up the caboose in the Atlantic Division while sporting an unenviable mark of 12 wins and 23 losses.
I thought of cutting Smith some slack because the Sixers and the Nets are perennial contenders in a weak conference (even with their atrocious record, the Nets are only five games behind the first-place Knicks). But, when challenged by fellow analyst Charles Barkley, Smith kept pointing at the .500 criterion to justify the placement of Kobe, who’s helped his Lakers retain more wins than losses despite moving Shaq, on his list. That stubborness forced me to withdraw my generosity.
Here’s to better sports analysis….