The inaugural NBA Awards Show got off to a flying start on Monday evening with Drake, the show’s host, firing away in the typical setup of an opening monologue. While Drake certainly isn’t the typical comedic host, he was comfortable enough to get jokes off in the direction of some of the NBA’s most prominent people.
The headliner of his monologue effort may have been the shots that Drake took at LeBron James and Draymond Green.
Draymond’s podcast is perfect fodder in an avenue like this and, even if every joke about LeBron’s hairline has been made, this worked. In different portions of his remarks, Drake focused on players around the league and made sure to name drop seemingly as many famous athletes as humanly possible. He even hit Allen Iverson and made a (strange?) Instagram joke about the Brooklyn Nets.
With that said, it could be argued that the best joke of the sequence went to none other than TNT’s Kenny Smith. Drake finished up his opener and flipped things to the Inside The NBA crew for comment. It didn’t go well for the host.
Smith’s jab seemed to revolve around Drake’s ghostwriting background and it clearly seemed as if the room thoroughly enjoyed this kind of clap back from a panelist. Shaq certainly helped Kenny to sell things as well and Drake, to his credit, handled it admirably.
All in all, Drake did a strong job during the toughest portion of his performance at the first-ever awards show, especially as someone that probably wasn’t the most comfortable in the setting.