This week on TSL Sports Talk, NBA Champion & TNT analyst, Kenny "The Jet" Smith, joined us to talk about everything NBA. TSL Sports Talk host, Mark Gray opened up the conversation by expressing how the NBA Finals 2014 left him –and many other NBA fans- wanting more games, as the Spurs cut the finals short when they defeated the Heat (4-1) in game 5. Gray then asked what Smith thought the season’s end said about the San Antonio Spurs.
As for the Spurs overall, it was already cemented. These guys have been to the finals two times in a row and now 5 championships for the Popovich-Duncan era, Tony Parker and [Manu] Ginobili.. I think it was already cemented. This just puts them on a plateau that very few teams and very few players have been on. Now, you’re talking the Jordan-Bulls team and the almost the Celtics, in that kind of regard, because there's no reason why they can’t be [at the NBA Finals] again this year coming up.
Smith, when asked if [Gregg] Popovich deserved to be put on the “Mount Rushmore” of greatest coaches, along with Red Auerbach, Phil Jackson & Pat Riley:
For sure. I think overall, he’s been innovative prior to the championships. Just the innovation of certain types of offense -if you watch the Spurs offense- is very different from, I’d say 75-80% of the teams who just basically run pick-and-rolls every time… every single time down the court! Or they isolate guys. The Spurs are about ball movement, body movement, a collective effort of guys that touch the basketball; a team everyone probably feels involved with and no one feels like their roll is less significant.
Listen to the full two-part interview below to hear what Smith has to say about the NBA Draft 2014, Carmelo’s chances of staying with the knicks after he opted out of his deal, his relationship with colleague Charles Barkley, and much more.