Kenny Smith (NBA): Who Is He? Bio, Wiki, Age, Career, Personal Life, Net Worth 2024 and More

Kenneth “The Jet” Smith’s journey from a promising young player in Queens to an NBA champion and respected commentator is a testament to his talent, hard work, and passion for the game of basketball

His impact on the court, particularly during his championship runs with the Houston Rockets, and his subsequent success as a commentator have cemented his legacy in the world of basketball.

Smith’s story is not just about the success he achieved, but also about the influence he continues to have on the sport. As a commentator, he inspires new generations of basketball fans and players, sharing his knowledge and love for the game.

Kenneth Smith remains a prominent figure in basketball, embodying the spirit of the sport both on and off the court.

He played as a point guard for various teams, including the Sacramento Kings, Atlanta Hawks, Houston Rockets, and Detroit Pistons. His talent and dedication on the court not only earned him a hefty paycheck but also a solid reputation among basketball enthusiasts.

Kenny Smith
Kenny Smith (Image: Source)

Also Read: NBA Champion Kevin Garnett Endorses Bronny James: Greatness Runs Through Bro’s Veins 

Kenny Smith: Bio

Kenneth “The Jet” Smith, born on March 8, 1965, is renowned both for his career as a professional basketball player in the NBA and his subsequent role as a sports commentator.1

His journey through the NBA from 1987 to 1997 saw him play for several teams, including the Sacramento Kings, Atlanta Hawks, Houston Rockets, Detroit Pistons, Orlando Magic, and Denver Nuggets.

Smith’s illustrious career is highlighted by his back-to-back NBA championships with the Houston Rockets, showcasing his skills and contributions to the sport.

Early Life and Entry into the NBA

Kenneth Smith was born in Queens, New York, where he developed a passion for basketball at an early age.

His talent was evident during his high school years at Archbishop Molloy High School, where he played under the legendary coach Jack Curran. Smith’s prowess on the court earned him a scholarship to the University of North Carolina, where he played under another legendary coach, Dean Smith.

His college career was marked by impressive performances, which solidified his reputation and set the stage for his entry into the NBA.

NBA Draft and Early Years

In the 1987 NBA Draft, Smith was selected by the Sacramento Kings as the sixth overall pick. His rookie season with the Kings showcased his potential as a point guard, combining speed, agility, and strategic playmaking.

Despite the team’s struggles, Smith’s performance did not go unnoticed, and he soon became a key player in the league.

Transition to the Atlanta Hawks

After two seasons with the Kings, Smith was traded to the Atlanta Hawks in 1990. His tenure with the Hawks further demonstrated his abilities as a reliable point guard.

Playing alongside NBA greats such as Dominique Wilkins, Smith contributed significantly to the team’s offensive and defensive strategies.

His time with the Hawks also helped him refine his skills, making him a more versatile and experienced player.

Kenny Smith
Kenny Smith (Image: Source)

Championship Glory with the Houston Rockets

Smith’s career reached its pinnacle when he joined the Houston Rockets in 1990. It was with the Rockets that he achieved his greatest success, playing a crucial role in the team’s back-to-back NBA championships in 1994 and 1995.

As the starting point guard, Smith’s leadership and clutch performances were instrumental in the Rockets’ playoff runs. His ability to hit critical shots, including his memorable three-pointer in Game 1 of the 1995 NBA Finals, solidified his place in NBA history.

Later Years and Retirement

Following his championship successes, Smith played for several other NBA teams, including the Detroit Pistons, Orlando Magic, and Denver Nuggets.

Although these latter years did not bring the same level of success, Smith’s experience and veteran presence were valuable to the teams he played for.

He retired from professional basketball in 1997, leaving behind a legacy of dedication, skill, and championship triumphs.

Transition to Sports Commentating

After retiring from the NBA, Smith seamlessly transitioned into a career as a sports commentator. He joined the TNT network’s “Inside the NBA” show, where his insights and charismatic personality quickly made him a fan favorite.

Smith’s deep understanding of the game, combined with his ability to articulate complex basketball strategies, has made him one of the most respected analysts in the industry. His contributions to the show have earned him several awards, including multiple Sports Emmy Awards.

Kenny Smith
Kenny Smith (Image: Source)

Kenny Smith: Career

Sacramento Kings (1987–1990): A Bright Beginning

Kenny Smith’s professional journey in the NBA began when he was selected as the sixth overall pick by the Sacramento Kings in the 1987 NBA draft.2

He wasted no time making an impact, debuting in a spectacular fashion against the Golden State Warriors on November 6, 1987. Smith contributed significantly, scoring 11 points and dishing out five assists in a memorable win for Sacramento.

Under the guidance of head coach Bill Russell, Smith quickly established himself as a key player for the Kings. He was named to the NBA All-Rookie Team (1st Team) after an impressive rookie season, where he averaged 13.8 points and 7.1 assists per game.

Smith’s talent and work ethic were evident from the start, earning him a reputation as a rising star in the league.

Atlanta Hawks (1990): A Change of Scenery

Midway through the 1989–90 season, Smith was traded to the Atlanta Hawks, marking a new chapter in his career.

Despite being a reserve player for the first time, Smith adapted well to his new role, averaging 7.7 points per game and providing valuable support off the bench for the Hawks.


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Kenny Smith (@kennysmith)

Houston Rockets (1990–1996): Championship Success

Smith’s career reached new heights when he joined the Houston Rockets in 1990. In his first season with the team, he showcased his scoring prowess, averaging 17.7 points per game while leading the Rockets in assists per game (7.1) and free throw percentage (.844).

Despite injuries sidelining Hakeem Olajuwon for a portion of the season, Smith’s leadership and performance helped the Rockets achieve a franchise-best 52–30 record.

Over the next few seasons, Smith continued to be a pivotal player for the Rockets, contributing to their back-to-back championship wins in 1994 and 1995.

His versatility and clutch performances, especially in the playoffs, solidified his legacy as one of the greatest point guards in Rockets history.

Final Season and Retirement (1996-97): A Fond Farewell

  • Smith’s final season in the NBA saw him play for the Detroit Pistons, Orlando Magic, and Denver Nuggets.
  • Despite facing challenges with injuries and changes in team dynamics, Smith remained a respected figure on and off the court, serving as a mentor for younger players.
  • In his professional career, Smith amassed 9,397 points and 4,073 assists, showcasing his scoring ability and playmaking skills.
  • He was known for his efficiency, shooting .480 from the field, .399 from three-point range, and .829 from the free-throw line.
  • Smith’s impact on the game extended beyond his statistics. He was revered for his basketball IQ, leadership qualities, and adaptability, making him a valuable asset for any team.
  • His contributions to the sport have earned him a place among the NBA’s elite, with his name etched in the annals of basketball history.
Kenny Smith
Kenny Smith

Also Read: Kenny Smith Relationship: Is He Married or Still Dating Aline Bernardes?

Kenny Smith: Personal Life

Kenny Smith, a prominent figure in basketball, has had a rich personal life marked by relationships and family.

Let’s delve into the details of his personal life, including his marriages, children, and more.

Marriages and Children

Smith has experienced marriage twice in his life. His first marriage blessed him with two children: Kayla, a talented R&B singer, and K. J., a basketball player who notably played for the University of North Carolina, his father’s alma mater, from 2018 to 2021. K. J. has since become a respected national basketball analyst, contributing to the website as of 2021.

Following the end of his first marriage, Smith crossed paths with English model Gwendolyn Osborne in 2004 at a charity event. This encounter sparked a new chapter in his personal life, leading to their marriage on September 8, 2006.

Together, they welcomed two children into their lives. Furthermore, Smith embraced the role of stepfather to Osborne’s daughter from a previous marriage.

Gwendolyn Osborne: A Former Model

Notably, Osborne has a background in modeling and was a familiar face on the popular television show, The Price Is Right.

However, despite their shared journey, Smith’s marriage to Osborne faced its own set of challenges. In 2018, Osborne filed for divorce, marking the end of their union.

Kenny Smith’s personal life reflects a story of love, family, and the complexities of relationships. His experiences highlight the importance of resilience and growth, both on and off the basketball court.

Kenny Smith
Kenny Smith

Kenny Smith: Net Worth 2024

Kenny Smith, a prominent figure in the basketball world, has amassed a substantial net worth through his successful career as a player and later as a basketball analyst.3

His net worth is estimated to be around $22 million, making him one of the wealthiest personalities in the basketball industry.

Transition to Broadcasting

After retiring from professional basketball, Smith transitioned into sports broadcasting, where he found remarkable success.

He joined Turner Network Television (TNT) as a basketball analyst and has been a key part of the network’s NBA coverage.

His insightful commentary and analysis have made him a fan favorite and a respected voice in the sports media industry.

Income from Broadcasting

Smith’s work as a basketball analyst for TNT has been lucrative, earning him nearly $4 million annually.

His role on the popular show “Inside the NBA” alongside other basketball legends like Shaquille O’Neal and Charles Barkley has further solidified his status as a prominent figure in the world of sports broadcasting.

In addition to his work in broadcasting, Smith has also ventured into various business opportunities, further adding to his net worth.

He has invested in real estate and has been involved in philanthropic activities, showcasing his diverse interests and commitment to giving back to the community.

  1. wikipedia
  2. sarkariexam
  3. wikiwand
Kankana Biswas
Kankana Biswas

I'm a strategic journalism graduate with expertise on socio-political issues, business, and finance. I'm a self-made entrepreneur, and have contributed to various news/media outlets since 2015. I also received degree of journalism from the Delhi College of Arts and Commerce.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *