Kenny Smith is rarely at a loss for words. So he wasn’t about to bite his tongue when TMZ caught up with him at the airport and grilled him about Kobe Bryant’s well-documented struggles so far this season.
“We all worry about Kobe. You know, he’s the greatest that ever did it. He looks like just a regular guy out there. You know, we hate to see that.”
He was then asked whether it’s time for him to hang it up, to which he replied ,”I would say in about 30 games we’re gonna figure him out. But right now, he looks like Kobe Bryant. He doesn’t look like the Black Mamba. He looks like Kobe…Father Time catches us all, baby…We’ve seen the Black Mamba. We won’t see him anymore. We’ll see Kobe Bryant now. That’s different. He’s a human…We got a seat for you, Kobe, on TNT, and it’ll be ready in April because y’all won’t make the playoffs. Come on down, and sit next to Shaq.”
Asked whether he’d be a great analyst, Smith said “Oh yeah. He’d be great. Could you imagine him sitting next to Shaq with us? Telling Lakers stories? Why they hated each other? Why they loved each other? The job’s yours, Kobe. I’m holding a seat for you.”
So there you have it. Just about everybody is ready to sound Kobe’s death knell, and he’ll certainly have his work cut out for him if he wants to prove everyone wrong. That said, we second the notion that Kobe would make a great addition to the NBA on TNT crew whenever he decides to retire.