Kenny Smith, say it ain't so!

Kenny Smith, retired Houston Rockets point guard and fixture on TNT's basketball commentary show along with Ernie Johnson, Charles Barkley, and Shaquille O'Neal, walked off the set after announcing that as a black man and former player, he wanted to show solidarity with the NBA's walkout in protest of the Jacob Blake shooting.

Smith caught everyone unprepared.  We don't even have all the evidence, which is the worst part of this whole tiresome tale.  In the video we've all seen, it looks as though Blake was reaching for something in his car, something we can't see but that the police were well positioned to see.  Given Blake's earlier fighting with police and then refusal to obey their commands, one suspects he was going for a weapon.  Police are not obligated to die before defending themselves.

I gave Kenny Smith credit for having more sense than this.  He prospered in the system set up by white men in his college days, then his pro career, and now in his post-playing days.  I'm curious to hear how players not playing, or Kenny Smith not commenting, is going to advance anything but catcalls between those who side with Smith and BLM and those who think Jacob Blake likely brought his fate upon himself.

As one who enjoyed watching Smith play both in college and in the pros, and who liked his insights and commentary on TNT and ESPN, I now skip right past both in favor of just about anything rather than suffer more tripe about police mistreatment of innocent black men who turn out not to have been so innocent.  The cases that come up — George Floyd, this one with Blake, the one with Michael Brown, the Trayvon Martin case — unfailingly reveal thuggish behavior on the victims' part that elicited violent responses.

Here's a thought: get the misbehavior under control, and then see how much police brutality we hear about.  Get those guys to behave like civilized human beings rather than thugs, and they won't have problems with the police.

Meanwhile, it's just ludicrous when men who thrived in the system walk out to support others who are thriving in the system to complain about that very system.

Image: Bleacher Report via YouTube.

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