Born: March 8, 1965
Birthplace: Queens, NY
Zodiac Sign: Pisces
Life and Career
Kenny "The Jet" Smith is a retired American professional basketball player who played in the National Basketball Association (NBA). He played in the NBA from 1987 to 1997 as a member of the Sacramento Kings, Atlanta Hawks, Houston Rockets, Detroit Pistons, Orlando Magic, and Denver Nuggets. Nicknamed "The Jet", Smith was an All-American at the University of North Carolina and a two-time NBA Champion with the Houston Rockets. Smith is currently a basketball analyst, and has won several Emmys for his work on Inside the NBA on TNT. He also works as an analyst for CBS/Turner during the NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Tournament.
Smith was selected as a 6'3" 170 lb point guard by the Sacramento Kings with the sixth pick of the 1987 NBA draft. He was named to the NBA All-Rookie Team (1st Team) after averaging 13.8 points and 7.1 assists per game for the Kings. Smith began his NBA career playing for Hall of Famer Bill Russell, who was head coach for Kings until he was fired 58 games into the '87-88 season. Smith was traded to the Atlanta Hawks midway through the 1989–90 season, where he was a reserve player for the first time in his career, averaging 7.7 points per game while only starting five of thirty-games he played for the Hawks.
After the 1989–90 season, Smith was traded to the Houston Rockets, where he would spend the next six seasons. In 1990–91 Smith averaged 17.7 points per game while leading the Rockets in assists per game (7.1) and free throw percentage (.844). He helped the Rockets to a 52–30 record, the best regular season in franchise history at the time. They were swept by the Los Angeles Lakers in the first round of the playoffs. Smith finished 17th in voting for the NBA Most Valuable Player Award, just ahead of teammate Hakeem Olajuwon.
The Rockets released Smith after the 1995–96 season, and he signed with the Detroit Pistons. He played only nine games with the Pistons before he was waived and signed by the Orlando Magic, who released Smith after only six games. Smith then signed with the Denver Nuggets, where he would remain for the rest of the season. Smith played sparingly for the playoff-bound Pistons and the Magic, but got the last meaningful playing time of his career with the Nuggets, a team that won only 21 games that season. Smith averaged 7.9 points and 3.1 assists while playing just under twenty minutes per game. Overall, Smith averaged 6.3 points and 2.4 assists per game, the lowest averages of his career, while his three-point percentage of .437 (59/135) was the second highest of his career, and the fourth season in which he shot better than 40 percent on three-pointers.
Smith joined Turner Sports in 1998, working as a studio analyst for end of the NBA regular season and the playoffs. Smith works with Ernie Johnson Jr., Charles Barkley, and Shaquille O'Neal on Inside the NBA, a winner of the Sports Emmy Award for Outstanding Studio Show. Smith covered basketball for the 2001 Goodwill Games, and he occasionally appears on NBA TV as an analyst. Smith provided commentary for the MSG Network's broadcasts of New York Knicks games from 2005–08, and works as an analyst for CBS/Turner during the NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Tournament.
Smith has four children - Kayla Brianna, Kenneth Jr (K.J.), Malloy Adrian and London Olivia as well as a step-daughter Monique.