What Makes 'Inside the NBA' Such a Popular Show? Kenny 'The Jet' Smith Discusses on Pardon My Take

To send you into the weekend, Pardon My Take welcomed on broadcaster Kenny "The Jet" Smith to the show. The former player joined Mr. Cat and Mr. Commenter to discuss the popular show, "Inside the NBA," working with Charles Barkley, his basketball camp, moving to a Front Office job, and the bubble. 

Perhaps the most interesting part of this interview was getting some insight on what makes "Inside the NBA" work so well. Smith dwindled it down to one word on the show's success: authenticity.

Mr. Cat: Let's talk about "Inside the NBA," because everyone loves the show. It is a classic, it's a ratings classic, too. People love watching it. And I love shows like this because you know that network execs are sitting around the country trying to replicate it. And I've always thought the reason why it works is the chemistry you guys have. And you guys are truly friends, maybe not Shaq all the time, but you guys are truly friends. What is the secret sauce to you if you had to define exactly why it works?

Kenny "The Jet" Smith: The secret sauce is people running behind me. I think it's being authentic. Like there is no, "You say this, you argue this point. You take the right, he takes the left." It's how you feel, and being authentic to what it is. So if we all think right, we're all gonna think right. If we all think differently, we're all going to think differently. I think a lot of shows that I've been on or at least tried to have me on at times, you know, they would say, well, can you take this point? But I don't believe that. "Yeah, but we just need a contrast." 

Kenny "The Jet" Smith: Well, I'm not the guy. Find a guy who really believes in that. I think those are the kind of things that people read into. They understand we're not just arguing to argue or we're not just agreeing to agree. We love the game. We love the players inside the game. I authentically love them in terms of fans and fandom. But we also can critique them. We could also say, "You're not doing this right, or you're doing it wrong."

In a world that usually has so many different opinions in so many different topics, I think we can all agree that "Inside the NBA" has always been an awesome show. Something that struck me was when Kenny "The Jet" Smith said he has not attended a production meeting in 20 years. Each of the guys on that show are speaking their mind on whatever topic they are discussing, and they are each very open and honest about it. With the NBA returning in two weeks, it'll be awesome to have Ernie, Shaq, Charles, and Kenny back on our screens.